Michelle Obama: Fashion Industry Stimulus Plan

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Her official title is First Lady of the United States, but Michelle Obama has also been called a one-woman stimulus plan for the fashion industry.

The cataloging of Mrs. Barack Obama's style selections choices - from $565 two-tone Lanvin sneakers to the black Michael Kors sheath and Peter Soronen corset she donned for a recent Time gala - has shown no sign of abating.

Along the way, those who produce the clothes, whether J. Crew or high-end designers (for which Michelle has shown a considerable penchant), have been catapulted into the limelight, with her triple-A-list exposure offering a boost to business.

“There has been a huge interest in special orders, which has helped maintain business in a gloomy time,” said Peter Soronen, whose pieces are sold through Ikram, a Chicago boutique owned by Ikram Goldman, the First Lady’s de facto stylist.

Soronen, who called his 11-year-old company “a semicouture house” because custom orders make up a large percentage of his business, was quick to point out that major retailers have not yet come knocking for his entire collection.

However, individual Michelle Obama fashion statements have elicited direct specialty boutique orders and, in some cases, requests for an entire new dress.

Continue reading this article in Women's Wear Daily, and click to enlarge some of Michelle's style choices that have made headlines in recent months ...

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