Everyday Icon

There is only one MICHELLE OBAMA.

She radiates confidence and intellect, and whether she is wearing a custom evening gown by Naeem Khan or an argyle sweater, pencil skirt and ballet flats, many women in America, and indeed around the world feel that she is just like them. The sentiment I hear most often is that “Michelle is authentic and real”.

So, what is it about Michelle that makes her so relatable?

J Crew

From my perspective, there are too many pre-conceived notions about who a first lady should be and antiquated ideas about what a first lady should represent, so there was a crack in the window, an opportunity, to redefine the position of first lady for the 21st century. And if anyone could raise that window and break with traditional paradigms, it would be Michelle Obama because her mere presence in the White House is a complete 360º from the traditional status quo.

Naeem Khan

From talking with women of Michelle’s generation, I realized they all respect her sense of style because they believe that Michelle is not trying to be a fashion icon, but rather just being Michelle. That’s a huge complement for African American women who have moved forward in ways that their mothers and grandmothers could only imagine. And it’s such a breath of fresh air for today’s modern woman to bare witness to a first lady who projects optimism while confidently navigating the various roles she plays in her life.

Isaac Mizrahi

Much has been and will continue to be written about Michelle, and the broader sense of her legacy and impact on history has yet to be determined, but just two years into her husband’s presidency and we can imagine that her cultural and social impact will be sustaining. That’s why I was over the moon when I was given the opportunity to interview Kate Betts for her new book Everyday Icon: Michelle Obama and the Power of Style.

Peter Soronen

In Everyday Icon, Kate addresses why Michelle’s carriage and style matters both culturally and historically, and how the new precedents that Michelle is setting in her role as first lady are influencing women in America and around the world.

Tomorrow: My full interview with Kate Betts, until then, here is Kate discussing Everyday Icon.

Fashion 4 Comments

4 Responses to “Everyday Icon”

  1. 1
    adrian says:
    February 7, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    In a world where normal is not the norm, it is great to see someone who exudes style, beauty, grace and intelligence. Sort of provides a different perspective on the phrase, “made in america”. From my vantage point, the stunning person she is inspires one to think organic/au-natural. As a world stage icon, admiration for her is impeccable. Her transition has been without a manufactured image because MO is authentic, and it garners envy and joy from both men and women. So right, So natural, So American.

  2. 2
    quintessence says:
    February 7, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    GREAT post! LOVE this!!! Looking forward to the book and loved Kate Betts video – she is smart, articulate and right on with her views. My only complaint is the dreadful book jacket – that art director gets a D.

  3. 3
    meredith says:
    February 7, 2011 at 9:28 pm

    Oooh I cannot wait to read tomorrow’s interview! I’m not sure I can write anything better about MO than what you’ve already articulated so well. She has been nearly pitch perfect in everything she does. It would be disconcerting and intimidating were it not for her likability, warmth, authenticity, graciousness. Hurrah for the first First Lady in my lifetime who is truly admirable and one to emulate!

  4. 4
    Sherry says:
    February 7, 2011 at 10:42 pm

    Awesome. I can’t wait for the interview. I agree she is an everyday icon. Down to earth and everyday woman.