Michelle Obama's Favorite Fashion Designers

01
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A Look Back at 8 Years of Michelle Obama's Style

Barack and Michele Obama holding hands
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In her eight years as first lady, also known in acronym-speak as FLOTUS, Michelle Obama cemented her place in history as one of the most stylish women ever to hold that spotlight. She championed designers big and small, and from around the globe. From Gucci to Ralph Lauren, Christian Siriano and Naeem Khan — Michelle Obama's favorite designers are wide-ranging and full of colorful, elegant variety.

Michelle Obama's main style advisor is the store owner of Ikram boutique in Chicago, Isreali-born Ikram (pronounced e-crom) Goldman. The 4,000 square foot Ikram boutique carries high-end American, European and Japanese labels and was the source of Michelle’s special-ordered inaugural styles. Goldman is known for her eclectic styles (the store also includes vintage pieces).

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Narciso Rodriguez, 2008

The Obamas on Election night, 2009
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On this night, Barack Obama was still just the president-elect, but the first family looked right at home on the stage. Together with their daughters Malia (red dress) and Sasha (black dress) in Chicago, Illinois, the family was together to learn Obama defeated Republican nominee Sen. John McCain. That night Michelle wore a memorable black and red ensemble from acclaimed fashion designer Narciso Rodriguez, who is known for his elegant, simple designs.

More about Narciso Rodriguez

A Parsons graduate, Narciso Rodriguez first rose to fame in 1997 when he designed Carolyn Bessette’s simple white gown for her wedding to John F. Kennedy Jr. For Michelle Obama, the Cuban-American designer created the famous red and black dress she wore on election night above, in addition to two inaugural looks (one of our favorites being the camel and black suit you'll see ahead in this story).

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Isobel Toledo, J. Crew, and Jimmy Choo, 2009

Barack and Michele Obama waving in street
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When President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama walked in the parade following his inauguration as the 44th president on January 20, 2009, Michelle wore a combination of designers and brands including J. Crew, Isobel Toledo, and Jimmy Choo heels — a look that set the stage for many more stylish looks to come.

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Jason Wu, 2009

President Barack Obama and his wife First Lady Michelle Obama dance on stage during MTV & ServiceNation: Live From The Youth Inaugural Ball at the Hilton Washington on January 20, 2009 in Washington, DC.
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FLOTUS wore an embellished white off the shoulder gown from up-and-coming American designer Jason Wu when she and Obama danced on stage during MTV & ServiceNation: Live From The Youth Inaugural Ball at the Hilton Washington on January 20, 2009, in Washington, DC.

More about Jason Wu

The young Taipei-born designer — who has only shown collections since ’06 —  designed the ivory chiffon, one-shoulder gown the first lady wore to the inauguration balls. The gown was covered with organza appliqués and Swarovski crystals. Jason Wu's work has been described as a younger version of Oscar de la Renta for its couture-level look. He has dressed Michelle Obama before: the $3,510 raw silk dress with hand-embroidered rosettes she wore for the Barbara Walters interview was also his dress. On his resume are stints at Narciso Rodriguez and time as a doll designer (the dolls have been sold at FAO Schwartz).

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Tom Ford, 2011

Barack and Michele Obama with Queen of England
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The lady looks good in white! Here, FLOTUS and POTUS pose for a photo with Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, at Buckingham Palace before a state dinner in London in 2011. Michelle is wearing another stunning ivory gown, this one by American designer Tom Ford. She completed her look with over-the-elbow gloves and a sleek updo.

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Marchesa, 2012

Obamas at State Dinner
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

For a state dinner with British Prime Minister David Cameron and his wife Samantha Cameron on March 14, 2012, first lady Michelle Obama wore a gorgeous green gown by Marchesa. She accessorized with a dazzling tiered statement necklace in shades of green and turquoise​ and wore her hair up.

07
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Jason Wu, 2013

Michele Obama in red dress
Michael Kovac/Getty Images

For the Obama's second inaugural ball on January 21, 2013, Michelle again chose to wear one of her most frequently worn designers, Jason Wu. This red gown features metallic foil details and a halter neckline that flattered her lean, muscular arms and shoulders. She's also wearing Jimmy Choo shoes.

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Marchesa, 2013

Michele Obama wearing Marchesa
Pool/Getty Images

Once again, at a reception at the White House for the 2013 Kennedy Center Honorees on December 8, 2013, in Washington, DC, first lady Michelle Obama donned a floor-length, jewel-green gown by Marchesa.

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Brandon Maxwell, 2016

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama and U.S. President Barack Obama wait for the arrival of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore and his wife Ho Ching on the North Portico of the White House August 2, 2016 in Washington, DC.
Chip Somodovilla/Getty Images

Here, first lady Michelle Obama and President Barack Obama wait for the arrival of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore and his wife Ho Ching on the North Portico of the White House, August 2, 2016. FLOTUS is wearing an ivory strapless gown by Lady Gaga's fashion director, Brandon Maxwell. The dress is made from sponge crepe and features structured details and a fitted waist.

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Monique Lhuillier, 2014

Michele Obama in Monique Lhullier
pool/Getty Images

The full view of the gown is slightly obscured here, but at the 37th Annual Kennedy Center Honors in Washington, D.C. in 2014, the FLOTUS wore a shimmering, cream embroidered column Monique Lhuillier dress that featured an illusion tulle skirt and sweetheart neckline.

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Vera Wang, 2015

Michele Obama in Vera Wang
pool/Getty Images

For a state dinner with Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan, FLOTUS wore an off-the-shoulder gown by Vera Wang. Her hair was done in a romantic style, swept to the side with big, soft waves.

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Thakoon, 2015

Michele Obabm in Thakoon
Ben Gabbe/Getty Images

How bright and cheery! At the Whitney Museum of American Art Ribbon Cutting Ceremony in New York City on April 30, 2015, our first lady wore a gorgeous floral-print dress by Thakoon. (Obama loves bold florals.)

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Tadashi Shoji, 2015

Michele Obama in Shoji
Earl Gibson III/Getty Images

At the Phoenix Awards Dinner for the 45th Annual Legislative Black Caucus Foundation Conference in 2015, Michelle wore a strapless blue and black dress by Tadashi Shoji.

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Missoni, 2015

Michele Obama in Missoni
Pier Marco Tacca/Getty Images

Appropriately enough for a visit to Italy, the first lady ended her short trip to Milan in a multicolored knit dress by Italian fashion house Missoni. To complete her look, Michelle wore metallic block-heel sandals and silver earrings — a practical and stylish choice for a busy day of official activities and events.

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Zac Posen, 2015

Michele Obama in Zac Posen
Brad Barket/Getty Images

What a hottie, right? US first lady Michelle Obama spoke onstage during the "Black Girls Rock!" BET Special on March 28, 2015 wearing a gorgeous, sexy short dress by Zac Posen. The dress featured a bodice with boning and an off-the-shoulder neckline that highlighted her earrings perfectly.

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Atelier Versace, 2016

Michele Obama in Versace
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Over the eight years of Barack Obama's presidency, Michelle's style only got better. (Though let's be honest — it was always been on point!) For her last White House State Dinner, she donned a custom Atelier Versace rose gold chainmail gown. Her accessories and jewelry were simple to compliment the glamorous and sparkling gown. Her diamonds are by Le Vain.

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Christian Siriano, 2016

Michele Obama in Christian Siriano
Alex Wong/Getty Images

Before 2016's dramatic election, Michelle took to the stage on the first day of the Democratic National Convention on July 25 in Philadelphia, PA, wearing a royal blue knee-length dress by American designer (and the first winner of Project Runway) Christian Siriano. She completed her look with metallic pumps — the outfit on the whole is a not-so-subtle nod to the official color of the democratic party, executed with style and grace.

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Naeem Khan, 2016

resident Barack Obama and Michelle Obama arrive at the Phoenix Awards Dinner at Walter E. Washington Convention Center on September 17, 2016 in Washington, DC
Earl Gibson III/Getty Images

At the Phoenix Awards Dinner during the 46th Annual Legislative Conference of The Congressional Black Caucus, Michelle looked breathtaking in a strapless, dramatic gown from Naeem Khan, a designer she's been wearing since 2010. The design features a sweetheart neckline and an elegant full skirt, and the dress gets added shine thanks to hand-painted gold leaf on black tulle.

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Gucci, 2016

MIchele and Barack Obama at Christmas
Image Source: Rex USA, via PopSugar

Wearing a custom Gucci dress to her final Kennedy Center Honors celebration, FLOTUS accessorized with gorgeous pearl drop earrings by Yoko London and a pearl cluster ring. We don't like to play favorites (okay, we kind of do), but this metallic, floral gown just might be our favorite first lady look of the past eight years!