OPERATION KENNEDY: Designers no doubt are already knocking at the door of Caroline Kennedy. President Obama has nominated her to be the first female U.S. ambassador to Japan.

An attorney, author, editor, philanthropist and mother of three with degrees from Harvard’s Radcliffe College and Columbia Law School, the 55-year-old appeals to a wide range. An all-American favorite with free-spending Baby Boomers and The Greatest Generation, the former First Daughter is known for her understated style and press-shy ways. Her knack for reinvention has made her a role model of sorts with younger voters. Her many mantles include ties to the John F. Kennedy Foundation, the Institute of Politics at Harvard University, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, New Visions for Public Schools and the American Ballet Theater. Far from a clotheshorse or a social butterfly, Kennedy once worked for the New York City Department of Education for $1 a year. While serving jury duty in May, she hit the court house in a Patagonia down jacket and other dressed-down styles.

This story first appeared in the July 25, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Pending confirmation by the Senate, Kennedy stands to become even more of an internationally known figure and — like it or not — a style influencer.

The athletic brunette has turned up in Oscar de la Renta and has made a cameo or two at Marc Jacobs’ fashion show. Like First Lady Michelle Obama, she favors sleeveless sheaths for more formal affairs. Carolina Herrera knows from experience how Kennedy can sway sales, having designed the wedding gown she wore to marry Edwin Schlossberg in 1986. The designer launched a bridal collection the following year.

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