MOHAPATRA’S MOMENT: Bibhu Mohapatra came full circle as a designer this weekend and he has First Lady Michelle Obama to thank for it.
FLOTUS made a splash in one of his outfits — a floral print dress and matching coat — as she disembarked from Air Force One with her husband President Obama and greeted Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi at the start of a three-day visit.
Mohapatra, an Indian-born designer who is based in New York, told WWD that he was “beyond ecstatic” upon confirming that she chose one of his outfits, a printed crepe dress and a silk and wool cut-away jacket from his spring collection. He said he worked on the outfit in preparation for the first couple’s trip to India and received a text from India while at a dinner party on Saturday night about Obama possibly wearing his design as she departed from AF1. But it wasn’t until he saw the Delhi arrival videos and images that he could confirm it.
“This is a major moment for me and my brand,” he said in an e-mail. “I feel like I now have come full circle, with Michelle Obama arriving in my homeland in clothes designed by me.” He said that this is “one of the biggest dreams that has come true for me.”
He said he met the First Lady at the White House in October for a mega-fashion education workshop and all-day design extravaganza that brought together a bevy of big-name designers.
“I believe that she has an incredible sense of style, that is an extension of her own persona,” he said. “That is why her style is always effortless and exciting.”