When it comes to the first family-elect, Michelle Obama is clearly not the only one with some style.
All eyes are already on Malia, 10, and Sasha, seven, and their choices in clothing have received praise from the children’s apparel industry. Whether they are dressed up on Election Night or casually attired for school, designers said their style is approachable and something that young girls can look up to.
“When the Bush family entered the White House, [twins] Jenna and Barbara were older and already had their styles pretty well established,” said designer Lela Rose, who regularly dressed the Bush daughters and designed the dresses for Jenna’s bridesmaids. “But with the Obama girls, we will see their styles develop right before our eyes. I do think that we shouldn’t expect too much, since they are so young, but I would love to see them become not so matchy and really come into their own.”
As the family moves into the White House next month, and Malia and Sasha continue to grow into teens, children’s wear designers are watching closely to see how the girls’ fashion styles evolve.
For their Election Day, the girls headed to Nordstrom in Chicago to buy their frocks. Malia chose a red dress by Biscotti for $110 and Sasha chose a $75 Iris & Ivy dress.
“It certainly has put us into the spotlight. Customers are calling us directly, and retailers are asking for more of the dress,” said Bernadette Reiss, owner of Oakland, Calif.-based Biscotti Inc.
Reiss said she was shocked to see Malia wearing her dress. “My heart stopped when she walked out,” she said. “It was a historic moment and she was wearing our dress.”
Reiss said that, since then, business has been growing quickly. Not only is the Malia item sold out (2,000 dresses were sold), but retailers are asking for more from the company for spring.
“This is truly one of the few times in our history where children are making an impact and people are taking a genuine interest in them,” she said. “The entire Obama campaign is about youth and hope and promise, and these two girls represent something people can identify with. This can be very good for our industry.”
The dress Sasha wore also caught some attention.
“As soon as she stepped out wearing that dress, the demand for it went crazy,” said Kevin Gray, sales manager at Gerson and Gerson Inc., the makers of the Iris & Ivy brand. “The demand is so high that we are recutting the same style in a new fabric for spring.”
Ady Gluck-Frankel, owner and creative director of Necessary Objects, was also pleased when Malia wore a white-and-pink lace dress from the line for the Democratic National Convention. “What I am most impressed by is that these girls are wearing clothes that look great on them and they are clothing choices which are attainable,” she said. “Malia was wearing a dress that she bought for $68 — she wasn’t wearing a $350 dress. I think these girls are telling us that good taste has absolutely nothing to do with spending a lot of money, and that is really good news.”
“My personal philosophy to beauty is paying attention to oneself. I love to be outdoors, lots of fresh air, trying to take care of yourself as best you can. I always notice that comes through,” says Felicity Jones, the global face of @shiseido-owned @cledepeaubeauteus, which launches today. Head to WWD.com to read more about the actress’ love for beauty and how she prepared for her new role in “The Basis of Sex,” playing the young Ruth Bader Ginsburg. #wwdbeauty (📷: @dandoperalski)
For men’s fall 2018, @giuseppezanotti drew on elements from streetwear, sport, biker, combat and rock ‘n’ roll. Pictured here are a pair of shoes from the collection, featuring zippers, rhinestones, and silver hardware. Head to WWD.com to see a roundup of the accessories from Milan’s men’s fall 2018 shows. #wwdfashion (📷: Andrea Delb)
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of @ralphlauren’s snowboarding collection, the brand is mining its archives. The iconic brand is reintroducing vintage styles and dropping new designs for a color capsule that will be available in Ralph Lauren stores and @openingceremony on January 25. The capsule will consist of 10 pieces, including the Snow Beach Pullover, pictured here, which is a collector’s item that rapper Raekwon wore in Wu-Tang Clan’s “Can It Be All So Simple” video. #wwdfashion (📷: Tom Gould)
For @rochasofficial’s pre-fall 2018 collection, creative director Alessandro Dell’Acqua channeled the sophisticated and intriguing Catherine Denevue in the film “Belle de Jour.” Polished collarless coats, midi skirts, suits and ’60s graphic motifs were all featured in the collection, adding a sense of discreet luxury. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion
“We tried to produce clothing of that couture quality, but the most daunting part was that we only had a matter of days [to do it],” said costume designer Lou Eyrich, who recreated Gianni Versace’s iconic looks for @americancrimestoryfx. Eyrich searched online retailers and vintage shops for original pieces from the design house and for @penelopecruzoficial, who plays Donatella Versace. Head to WWD.com to read how she created the Versace world. #wwdfashion
Only three months after her stellar debut catwalk season, @kaiagerber has inked her first big design collaboration –– with @karllagerfeld. The collection blends Lagerfeld’s Parisian chic aesthetic and the model’s signature West Coast casual style via RTW, accessories, footwear and more. The #KarlLagerfeldxKaia collection will launch in September with a series of events. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews