First Lady Melania Trump and Stacey Cunningham, president of NYSE Group Inc., walk on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in New York, New York, USA, 23 September 2019.

TAKING STOCK: For her first trip to the New York Stock Exchange, First Lady Melania Trump arrived in lower Manhattan wearing a black sleeveless dress with black pumps.

In New York for the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly, FLOTUS was on her own this morning. President Trump, who continually cites the stock market’s strength despite trepidation about a looming recession, was due at the U.N. later in the morning to lead its event on religious freedom.

The all-business color choice of black made FLOTUS stand out amid fourth graders from the U.N.’s International School. “Be Best” flashed on light boxes all around the exchange and on the podium where the First Lady rang the opening bell at 9:30 a.m. to signal the start of Monday’s trading. “Be Best” refers to her initiative to enhance children’s well-being and safety and fight opioid abuse.

Before ringing the bell, the NYSE’s first female president Stacey Cunningham took the First Lady around the exchange, a tour that included an upper-floor stop to see the glass-encased Buttonwood Agreement, the exchange’s founding document, according to a pool report. The agreement’s name hails to 1792 when 24 stockbrokers signed the agreement under a buttonwood tree on Wall Street a few doors down at 68 Wall Street.

It is safe to say that abiding by the NYSE’s no-jeans dress code was not an issue for Trump, who works with stylist Hervé Pierre months in advance for official-duty wardrobe selection. Her choice of the cap-sleeve Prada dress appeared timely, given that Miuccia Prada showed her spring 2020 collection last week in Milan. The designer’s less-is-more collection underlined a message of “the power of women over clothes.”

Over the weekend hosted Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his wife Jennifer, which included a state dinner Friday night in the Rose Garden. For what was the Trump administration’s second state dinner, the First Lady wore a J. Mendel sea-foam pleated chiffon dress from New York designer Gilles Mendel.

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