Mrs-O.com is a blog dedicated to chronicling the fashion and style of First Lady Michelle Obama. Founded September 2008. 


« Mentor O | Main | Suits and Pearls »

WWD on Mrs. O, Oscar de la Renta

Almost a week after the state dinner, there is a substantial new piece in WWD today by Executive Editor Bridget Foley. The topic? Mrs. O's choice of an Alexander McQueen gown and Oscar de la Renta's seeming lone dissent. The full piece is available here, and is worth a read. A few excerpts follow below:

“This is an important issue,” de la Renta elaborated on Friday, the day WWD’s item ran. “Some people did not get the point. It’s not [intended] to be negative. Do you think Kate Middleton is going to be married in Marc Jacobs? Or you’d see Carla Bruni dressing in American clothes? This is a big industry in this country. Mrs. Obama does look great. She should take that and do something. She could do a great good for our industry. We need to create jobs here, create jobs on Seventh Avenue, too.”

Oscar’s point is well taken for a number of reasons. All Michelle Obama wardrobe sightings — and thus, for lack of a better term, product placements — are not created equal. A White House Christmas party or a school visit doesn’t have the same resonance as it did two years ago, or as an event of major international interest today. Then there’s the overt context of President Hu’s visit — to discuss trade — and, for this industry, its fashion subtext: China is redefining the global luxury and apparel industries at both the producer and consumer sides. 

President Obama expressed one of his goals as simply as possible when he told President Hu in front of the cameras, “We want to sell you all kinds of stuff. We want to sell you planes. We want to sell you cars. We want to sell you software…” 

Thus, the billing of Wednesday’s soiree as quintessentially American, inclusive of steak, Idaho potatoes and jazz after dinner. Yet there was Michelle Obama flaunting an Alexander McQueen dress. If perhaps unrealistic to wish that the President had added fashion to his above product litany — although why not? — might not Michelle Obama have chosen to send the message visually?


De la Renta suggested that Mrs. Obama might have worn something from one of the younger designers whom she supports so enthusiastically, many of whom make at least some of their clothes on Seventh Avenue. As this was a power summit of sorts, the powerful Ralph Lauren might have made sense as well. Or perhaps an artful look from the most famous Chinese-American designer — and dinner guest — Vera Wang. 

To wear something other than American at this particular trade-centric mega-fete embarrasses a major U.S. industry that continues to need all the help it can get.

Yet, except from one lone voice crying out from his stronghold at 550 Seventh Avenue, who is delivering that message? Where is the lobbying, from individual designers, or from the CFDA as an institution? If one maintains that fashion is a global industry and countrywide promotion is outdated and jingoistic, then what exactly is the CFDA’s raison d’etre? Conversely, if one believes that a little nationalistic marketing is beneficial to the American industry, then why is Oscar a lobby of one?

The debate raises interesting questions about the role, responsibilities and power of Mrs. O's wardrobe. A dress will seldom simply be a dress for the First Lady. We'll see Mrs. O again tonight at the State of the Union address, scheduled to begin at 9pm EST. Last year Mrs. O wore Isaac Mizrahi. This year?

P.S. One more related read:

"The CFDA Verdict" [Vogue.com UK]

Reader Comments (66)

I just don't get Oscar.....

Tuesday, January 25, 2011 at 10:59 AM | Unregistered CommenterCharmed

Oscar needs to go blow his nose. Quit crying! Enougn already!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011 at 11:02 AM | Unregistered CommenterSick of Oscar

Vera Wang didn't look that good herself at the State Dinner and she IS a designer. Just saying . . .

Tuesday, January 25, 2011 at 11:20 AM | Unregistered CommenterFred

Good point made by Ms. Foley. I agree, and Ralph Lauren would have been fabulous but way
more conservative. Mrs. O was looking for the Wow factor. Has anyone else noticed the very
large earrings, pins and necklaces that Mrs. O has worn in the last year? She obviously enjoys
that part of fashion. After this, I would think State dinners would feature American dresses or
dresses by a designer from the honored country.
Char from Seattle

Tuesday, January 25, 2011 at 11:21 AM | Unregistered CommenterChar

I'm guessing many designers are afraid of speaking against Michelle Obama's choice, for fear they will be shunned.

Anna WIntour said she went to the event specifically to push American fashion to Hu. So it would be interesting to hear her real thoughts about Michelle not wearing American fashion to the event.

FWIW, Jackie Kennedy faced a similar conundrum when she travelled to France with JFK. She so badly wanted to indulge in French fashion while there, but knew that as the American first lady, she could not.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011 at 11:44 AM | Unregistered Commenterkaybeel

Well...I don't know. I read the whole piece (and I think that it is worth digesting the whole thing.) I'm struggling to understand what Ms. Foley is trying to say. I understand her point that not all occasions draw as much attention as a state dinner. And I understand the desire to give more attention to the US fashion industry.

I guess I would be more receptive to this criticism if it were coming from someone other than Oscar de la Renta, who has famously criticized MO before. Despite hs protestations that this critique isn't intended to be negative, that's hard to believe.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011 at 11:49 AM | Registered CommenterChristina

the problem with his critique was the tone. it was disrespectful . it is clear that he feels no connection to the first lady whatsoever so he feels that he can speak in any tone he chooses.

I agree that I would have loved to see her in Americana. I was surprised that she chose a Brit for the occasion. perhaps she didn't like the other choices or thought they didn't work well on her. because i'm sure she was aware of the symbolism.

in summary, mr. de la renta sounded like a pundit, not as a dissenter. he could have said," i would have loved to see her in an american designer and we hope she considers that for high profile events."

he would have had more sympathy from me.
instead he chose to sound as though she was not deserving of respect in her personal choices and needs a "reprimanding" for wearing a Brit.

i think at this point she can't wear anything he has. he has become like a nasty pundit to me. i can't stand him.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011 at 12:03 PM | Unregistered Commentermoi

I understand the point that Mr. De la Renta is trying to make. It seems to me, however that only in America could it be preceived that the American wife of the American President wearing an American designed and manufactured gown would be promoting "free trade". Don't you think that that would promote a Nationalistic Isolationist message ?
Now wearing a Chinese (not Chinese-Amerciian) designed and manufactured gown would have been promoting free trade. Except I think it would be rather difficult to find such a gown in the US.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011 at 12:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterSewing Siren

Unless tax payers prepared to provide Mrs. O witha 'beauty budget", for clothes, hair, shoes, etc. I think she gets to make her own fashion choices.

She's not an elected official. She is the wife of the President. While it would be "value-added" for her to showcase American designers exclusively, I don't see her as obligated to do so.

She will have to be careful tho ... any moment some pundit is going to link this to her "never been proud of America" quote ... and turn this into a much larger controversy than it warrants.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011 at 12:35 PM | Unregistered Commenterglammie

I agree 100% with Oscar de la Renta. I am a huge fan of MO but lets face it, this was a mistake. Whoever is currently styling Mrs. O missed an incredible opportunity here. I think the other obvious shift here is that the fashion of Mrs. O has incredible ripples....not just in the fashion indusrty but politically too!. Her team needs to realize the power of the choices they are making.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011 at 12:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterBrenda

This debate is veering into the bizarre direction. Maybe she choose the dress she felt she looked best in and not the one that has a hidden message.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011 at 1:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterAnitaW

I don't have the patience to read more Oscar.

These people act like FLOTUS has worn nothing but Alexander McQueen her whole time at the White House. When past First Ladies wore Oscar exclusively, that did not benefit the fashion industry, only Oscar.

And yes State dinners are a huge event. But how many people are buying gowns? More people have use for looks similar to pieces worn to visit the troops or school children.

Maybe the fashion industry needs to look inward as to how to promote itself better.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011 at 1:27 PM | Registered CommenterTammy Gerardi

I'm glad to see thus issue being discussed outside of the context of it just being sour grapes on Oscar's part.

Since it was written in this manner & with such detail, I'm hoping a genuine discussion can take place in the fashion industry because it is a fair point

One COULD argue that what she wears to "small" events such as school visits simply just doesn't get as much coverage so it isn't as important that the designer be American.

But yes when the US is going so far as to tout the anecdote about Sasha speaking Chinese with Hu then maybe it WOULD have been a good idea to wear an American or Chinese designer to show symbolic cohesiveness with Obama's strategy with China.

Surely anyone can agree that this is a fair point and that it's not just about what Mrs O feels good in or that it not matter since, hey, the dress was red, that's good enough.

And I reject the notion that because we didn't care about other First Ladies this much then we should lay off of Michelle. The same boost she gets from extra eyes paying attention to her speeches because she's a rock star means that folks have to accept that there's extra eyes critiquing her as well. It's a two-way street and that has to be respected.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011 at 1:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterMica

It's worth noting that Jason Wu was born in Taiwan and Vera Wang's family fled China after the Communist revolution. Given all the political insensitivities, in some ways the safest best was making the allusion to Chinese culture by wearing red and black.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011 at 1:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterNS

While I agree that Mrs. O should wear American designers as much as possible, this article is a little unfair. She usually DOES wear American, even for high-profile events, including two out of three state dinners.

I am curious to know what people think of the Vera Wang suggestion because I think of her as a designer for only the most sylphlike body types. Would her designs really flatter Mrs. O's lovely curves?

In any case, I'm looking forward to seeing Mrs. O's choice for this evening.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011 at 1:42 PM | Unregistered Commentera MI Mom

Talk about much ado about nothing. I find this whole topic boring and pointless. Who on God's green Earth cares whether Mrs. O wore a European designer or an American designer except de la Renta and other who see an oppoturnity to get some attention by harping on this topic? It is pointless...Mrs. O will wear whatever she wants to wear. Full stop. She clearly is sensitive to things, and I believe apart from this instance has worn a designer that was related to the event. This was the first deviation, and so I say forgive her for her "sin."

As Tammy Gerardi said above, maybe the fashion industry needs to look inward. Maybe they can stop taking themselves so seriously. Maybe they can find a better balance between exclusivity and inclusion. Maybe they can design more looks that appeal to real women...how many of the pieces that Mrs. O has worn have been altered to look somewhat normal and approachable?

In the end, while I understand everybody's desire to have her wearing their clothes or clothes they deem appropriate, she is only human and expecting her to not only dress appropriately, stylishly, affordably, and now in accordance to certain designers...that's unfair IMO.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011 at 1:59 PM | Registered CommenterIVA

I really wish that the First Lady would have worn a creation by Vera Wang, especially as Ms. Wang was a dinner guest. This strategic move would have been a nod to the important contributions Chinese-Americans have made to the USA, and it would have sent the all-so-important "buy American" message. The first lady was strikingly beautiful in the McQueen gown, something beautiful by Wang, however, would have hit all bases.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011 at 2:01 PM | Unregistered Commenterchris w.

Mrs. T.

Thanks for the link to the WWD article. Interesting view.

In an earlier post I noted that President Obama campaigned on 1) turning the page and 2) renewing relationships that had withered on the vine in terms of foreign policy and other nations. In her own way, Mrs. O. is doing her part to make these objectives real.

She has turned the page on designers. The once go-to designer has been replaced by a multitude of designers - some young, some mainstream, some not from the U. S. Mrs. Obama is giving a lot of folks a chance, A designer may not get that state dinner once in a lifetime dress, but Mrs. Obama might choose a suit that gets worn on more than one occasion.

By including designers from other countries, she is showing an openness that we need now.

The WWD article expressed concern about why there was no push back on Mrs. Obama's selection from the fashion industry. Maybe the fashion industry has matured enough to know that their turn will come. Mrs. Obama has spread the wealth around.

As for Kate Middleton, I think that she would be better served with a strong dose of American fashion. Her style is rather conservative. She will probably be on the world fashion stage longer than Mrs. O. I hope that Kate branches out. I suspect that she will be sticking with British designers. The one time she really looked young and fresh was when she and William had split up. Shorter dresses, a bit more glam - looked great. Now she looks a bit stuffy/almost bland. American designers could really add some punch. At least Mrs. O. is open to wearing clothes from an international designer.

Mrs. T. - thanks for your column about a possible new stylist and this one from WWD. Your column is growing up. Keep up the good work.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011 at 2:13 PM | Unregistered Commenterpt821


I agree

Also, I think many people take fashion too seriously. A lot of times one wears clothes, because they like them, instead of trying to make a staetment. What if she does not wear an American designer tonight? Will there be pandemonium, because she is not wearing an American designer to an event that is solely meant for Americans? Furthermore, Oscar's arguement is uncalled for, he made these comments solely because Michelle has not worn any of his clothes. When she wore the Rachel Roy outfit in India, I did not recall anyone saying, "Hey she wore an Indian-Americans clothes, instead of an outfit by an Indian."

Tuesday, January 25, 2011 at 2:21 PM | Registered CommenterM.M.

It is just a flipping dress! A beautiful red dress as well. These designers need to overcome their tremendous egos and design dresses that real women like to wear. That means they must design dresses that flatter bottoms, bulky hips or tummies, so that women do not feel they have to wear uncomfortable underwear to look good on the outside. Mrs. Obama is a statuesque lady who does not look like the skinny waifs parading the fashions we have seen.

Additionally, how many of these designers garments are actually made in the USA? Everything seems to be coming from China these days.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011 at 2:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterJacqueline

Oscar's pissy because he's not on her favorites list (and no wonder, the man is just *so* 20th century)... but if there was any meta-message being sent by her choice, it's not a bad thing to say Britain-Still-Yay! on a day when it looks like we're sucking up to new best friends. Plus, y'know, she looked great.

I can't wait to see what Michelle wears to William and Kate's wedding. It's hard to balance being the most beautiful guest, while still trying not to outshine the bride. (is it petty that I feel patriotic pride every time Michelle looks better than Carla Bruni?)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011 at 2:29 PM | Unregistered Commenterwendy

Has any first lady, since Jackie Kennedy, been under so much scrutiny for what she wears?

Is it not enough what this gracious First Lady has done to support the fashion industry??? Must she beg and gain acceptance on every single piece of item from the powers that be in Fashion?? The fashion industry and young designers have benefited GREATLY and indirectly from the First Lady's style.

This is ridiculous brouha, and much ado about nothing, from a whiny has been designer, who's just miffed that the First Lady has yet to beg for his patronage. If he had been complimentary towards the First Lady and even handed in his prior comments, then I would be more willing to give his words a listen. But this petulant designer is just wanting to stir up trouble.

The State Dinner is NOT about the fashion industry - it's about America putting it's best face forward and HONORING the Country that has been invited - NOT the FASHION INDUSTRY.

To Oscar De La Renta & those would have criticized the First Lady's clothing to no end, I would say "SHUT IT!"

Tuesday, January 25, 2011 at 2:38 PM | Unregistered Commenterpinkbunny

You're kidding right? How many pieces has she single-handedly sold out for JCrew, Talbots and The Gap? She has become a force for the regular person in the American fashion industry and because she chose a beautiful "RED" dress which the color of was probably more important to the Chinese delegation than who made the thing, lines and lines of copy are being written about it? Seriously?! To me it's more sour grapes because by dela Renta because he wasn't chosen to design garments for her!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011 at 2:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterCarolyn

I would give this subject a lot more weight had it not come from Oscar de la Renta. I "think" Michelle Obama has been more diverse in choosing designers than any other first lady in recent memory. I dont remember hearing a mumbling word when many first ladies wore primarily Oscar. From his comments now and earlier he clearly does not like Michelle's choices. The good news is he doesnt have to nor do we have to hear his snide comments. How many times has Michelle worn J.Crew, Talbots, and countless other American designs. Give me a break. Personally I did not like the dress. The emphasis being on "personally", but certainly dont agree with Oscar's comments. He is not American born either so maybe the times he was chosen were inappropriate. Bottom line: Michelle Obama does not need him and he doesnt need her. So perhaps he can focus on the Clintons (Hillary wears him all the time) as does Laura Bush and leave Michelle to her choices!!!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011 at 2:46 PM | Unregistered Commentershyril

This is really annoying. One of the things that I admired about the first lady and the pres is that they don't let others tell them what to do, based on polls or political correctness. She is not the first lady of fashion, she is the FIRST LADY OF THE UNITED STATES. Her pet goals are not enriching the pockets of fashion designers, rather it is helping MILITARY FAMILIES and combating CHILDHOOD Obesity. Where do these people get off?

Women are so thoroughly criticized about their clothing...why did she wear that? Who does she think she is? Why don't you mind your business? Michelle once said she wears whatever makes her feel good (even if we on the site don't feel so good about it), and so if it was McQueen or Dior or Wu or the Jaclyn Smith collection at KMART....it is her choice. It's her money, not Oscars, or the tax payers.

It's already bad for being criticized in some corners for ridiculous things such as increasing the number of pedestrians getting hit by cars because of her Let's move campaign, and now this? I would never ever want to be in government. Not that I don't like helping people, but because people will always focus on the dumbest and most asinine subjects. Why did she wear shorts? What about those pants? Why doesn't she wear designers from Biloxi, Mississippi? Wear American, darn it, or Wear Chinese, darn it?Newsflash, the majority of Americans can't afford designer duds anyway, so there would be no J.Crew/Talbots bump.

You know who Laura Bush wore for the state dinner for Ghana (http://www.zimbio.com/pictures/-5J5EtVDVq1/President+Mrs+Bush+Hold+State+Dinner+President/4_VxnT3DDUP/Laura+Bush)......I don't know either but from the looks of it, it ain't Ghanaian. And you know what that state dinner was about...trade. All state dinners are done in ALL interests of the US (Including defense, trade, and so on).

Now getting off my soap box...Some people

Tuesday, January 25, 2011 at 3:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterMissy

Oscar is not behaving like a gentleman. He is behaving like a scorned woman. Oscar is yesterday's newspaper times three years ago! I hope Mrs. O never wears anything by him.

Would he have criticized any other American First Lady? No. Then, why this one? Inquiring minds want to know.

I think the Michelle Obama supporters who can afford Oscar's pieces should send him a message, by not buy anything from or by him for three consecutive months. Then maybe he'll keep his mouth shut.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011 at 3:14 PM | Registered CommenterSoccerNana

Oscar and company have they right to their opinion but I still think that their opinion is nonsense.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011 at 3:17 PM | Unregistered Commenterdasie

Please let it go. Very disappointed when I do visit this site, and read so many attacks on anyone who criticizes Mrs. Obama. Stop it. You talk about civility and don't follow it.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011 at 3:26 PM | Unregistered Commentergael

Everyone really should re-read the story of the emperor's new clothes. Most of what she wears looks ridiculous and is inappropriate. Upholstery fabrics. Toss pillow fabrics. Unflattering shapes and colors. Badly tailored. Ill-fitting. The above suit is unpressed and lacks appropriate tailoring. The offset shoulder on the McQueen gown was absurd and pointless and only wrecked the nice fabric. Designers might be able to drape nonsense for artiste effect and just because for funky fun or whatever on runway models, but MO is no model at a fashion show. One has to ask: what is the point of the clothes, what is the message they are supposed to convey? Tasteless on all counts for the wife of the president of the United States.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011 at 3:41 PM | Unregistered Commenterspring

I think it's worth discussing, but at the same time, he does sound like he's in a snit. This First Lady has done more for American fashion than any other First Lady ever, including Jackie Kennedy, simply because of the nature of the internet and communication now, she is followed daily. What she has done for J.Crew and many, many other companies is extraordinary. She has of course also worn many American designers. Maybe she should have worn an American designer for this State dinner, but I think she was trying to also honor the China by specifically wearing red and then honoring McQueen because of his passing. She looked amazing and I think totally appropriate with the red. I think it's wonderful when she wears American designers, but I also think it's wonderful when she wears things from all over the world because that also sends a message that we are open to being a global economy. And of course just the fact that she is so stunning and has made fashion in the White House cool again, please...she has given the fashion industry a huge boost no matter how you look at it.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011 at 3:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterADiez

Christonacrutch, leave it alone. She wore something beautiful, whose colors resonated with the Chinese visitors. She wore something beautiful, whose designer was said to have been influenced greatly by Chinese culture. The American label knockoffs of the dress will fly off the shelves. I am starting to think Oscar is just a bitter grouch.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011 at 3:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterOxfarm

New WH pics




Tuesday, January 25, 2011 at 3:56 PM | Registered CommenterM.M.

Ditto to all of the above especially Tammy Gerardi

Tuesday, January 25, 2011 at 4:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterInvictus

Shouldn't these American designers be calling on the First Lady to offer her their premier designs so that she could promote American fashion, if indeed, it is such a big issue.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011 at 4:56 PM | Registered CommenterStrong Foru

Just food for thought:in this month's issue of Bazaar, there is an article by Rachel Zoe's husband who mentions Oscar De la Renta as one of his favorite designers from a man's perspective.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011 at 5:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterSLD

I don't care what nationality the designer is. And it's wrong for people to claim that Mrs. O doesn't wear American designers. She has done a lot for American fashion. And I am no fan of De la Renta and I think his criticism is simply because he doesn't like FLOTUS.

That said, this is now a controversy that is brewing up right before our eyes that could totally have been avoided. It's little stuff like this that will hurt Mrs. O's image. There was no reason for her team not to pick an American designer for the state dinner. That's one thing that she should not have given them to pick apart. They can call the dress ugly, or say they didn't like the color, or say it's to fancy. That's someone's opinion. But don't ever give them a chance to say you are "un-American". This is a charge that had dogged Mrs. O from day one, so why even do something like wear a foreign designer to the state dinner?

This is why I believe it's time to get a stylist. Seriously. People are starting to talk about this and they're using it to go back to the big deal they made during the campaign about her being proud of the country for the first time.

I love Mrs. O and her style and I think she's being unfairly criticized. What I'm saying is, this all could have been avoided if she and her team would have though this out. It's great to wear whatever makes you feel good, but there comes a time where if it is going to open you up to needless criticism, and allow people to imply you aren't loyal to this country as the right wing loves to claim, it's not worth is.

She should have worn a lovely red frock from some American designer and called it a day.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011 at 5:29 PM | Unregistered Commenterkels

Like her husband, there is nothing that the First Lady can do to please the "American people". Not only does this so-called "lobbying" fall into the category of lameness, it implies that American women and women around the globe are without fashion sense. We know when we see an "American" design that it may very well have contributions from several different countries, be it fabric from Africa or lace from Europe. We know how to shop. We love Tory Burch (and so does Mrs. O), for example. Why? She travels the globe and her clothes has a "world" feel. I think it interesting that many in the media find Mrs. Obama "ugly" and have called her other nasty names, yet they cry foul when they feel she is not doing enough to put money in their pockets. Well, we can't have it both ways. We either appreciate her and respect her individuality and achievements as a person of inteligence and grace, or not. Either way, whining just makes everyone look petty. Personally, all I desire in any First Lady is that she carry herself with style, grace and honor. I believe Mrs. Obama has done that.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011 at 5:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterLaVonne

Its just seems as if De La Renta is just upset that he no longer has a hold on American First Lady fashions after years of dressing drabby Mrs. Bush, Boxy Mrs. Clinton, It seems as if he is upset because she refuses to wear his weighted, and old woman paintsuits and evening gowns! Oscar get it together u had you years to shine maybe in the future some old woman first lady will commission u for another set of drab pantsuits!!! Hey u definately wanted McCain to win cause u knew she would definately have usd you for every outfit!!! A new day has come......u see there was no Mrs. Bush website, and who designed majority of her fits you!!!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011 at 5:52 PM | Unregistered Commentercreative

Mr. De La Renta implies that he is concerned about finances, but he is leaving out some critical business details. If he will keep commenting, he needs to make some financial and fashion sense.

Sarah Burton has an impressive record, as do the women of the GUCCI GROUP (http://magazine.wsj.com/features/the-women/the-women-of-gucci/). No woman of intelligence can deny this.

As for the BUSINESS of FASHION, GUCCI GROUP is influencial in the UNITED STATES and the ASIA-PACIFIC REGION, as much as it is in EUROPE: GUCCI GOODS ACTIVITY REPORT - 2005: http://www.ppr.com/fr/DataUploadFiles/publications/7086/2_1_Luxe.pdf

Based on 2010 First Quarter reports (http://www.ppr.com/en/finance/publications/2010-first-quarter-sales) Alexander McQueen had "exceptional growth". Further, "Gucci Group recorded a good start to the year, with comparable sales up 6.1% (+4.7% in reported terms) in the first quarter. Each of the Gucci Group brands posted higher revenues month after month during the period. Sales through directly operated stores (DOS) grew 9%, reflecting the strength of the brands. Wholesale revenues were stable in the quarter, and orders booked for the Autumn/Winter collections achieved highly positive trends. Sales of Leather Goods grew 9%. While emerging countries continued to drive the growth in sales in the period (+15%), all mature countries apart from Japan also posted solid trend improvements. Fueled by sales momentum in Greater China (+39%), revenues were up 22% in Asia-Pacific excluding Japan, a region that accounted for 29% of Gucci Group sales in the first quarter of the year. At the end of March 2010, the Gucci Group DOS network encompassed 615 stores, including 157 in emerging markets."

The bottom line is that Americans, who are employed by the GUCCI group and who benefit from advertising and retail sales, etc. are benefiting.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011 at 6:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterLaVonne

I agree 100% with Oscar. Obama won't wear his designs since he was so beloved by Laura Bush. Obama has the opportunity to showcase American designers, but she doesn't. Princess Diana understood it as an HRH, Cara Bruni gets it, and I'm sure Kate Middleton will wear a british designer on her wedding day. I guess Michelle is "board" with American fashion.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011 at 6:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterKate Garcia

Regardless of who designed the gown, it is beautiful and Mrs. Obama looks wonderful wearing it.

When I first saw the gown, I though, Wow! she is paying tribute to China by wearing the color red, an important color in the Chinese culture, and the black brush stroke design in the gown, paying tribute to China's "beautiful writing," calligraphy. The designer may not have been American, Chinese or Chinese-American; but, the gown was complete with Chinese symbolism.

This controversy is a waste.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011 at 7:37 PM | Unregistered Commenterbusbus

Someone on this forum said that Mrs O dresses tastelessly for the wife of the POTUS. That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard!!! Some times MO hits and there are times when she misses, the tailored suit featured above is one of the latter few. Also, if MO wants to wear McQueen, why shouldn't she? who cares about the message? a lot of people are going to be making money off of it one way or another. She looked great, radiant and very gracious. She doesn't need a stylist because she's been very successful for almost three years without one. Let's not forget the reason we are all here (on mrs-o.org), we love MO because she's not Jackie O or Princess Di. She's just Michelle from the South Side Chicago. An average girl who was smart enough to attend one of the most prestigious schools in the country and from there, she went on to have a very successful career, marrying a great guy who just happened to become president of the United States and who also had two wonderful children. These are the reasons we fell in love with Michelle. Why try to change her? Is she hurting anyone? If you love someone, you don't try to change what made you fall in love with them in the first place, because if you did, that person would not be the same person just wouldn't be the same; they'd become a stranger to you. I love Michelle, and my love for her started after she became FLOTUS. There are times where she wears things that lifts even my brows, however, these items are obviously things she loves, so when it comes to her, I take the good, the bad and the in-between. Love you 'Chell, just the way you are.
p.s- some of you may say that she is no longer the girl from the south side of Chicago, she is now the FLOTUS, however, I challenge that idea, because how many of us really, internally, deep down in our psyches and heart of hearts, really changes who we are just because our circumstances change? My response to those who state that she is no longer that girl is: the circumstance does not make the person, one's ability to rise above the circumstance and still maintain her center, her sense of self, her values, and honor, that's what makes a person.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011 at 7:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterMO Lover

This site I think is dedicated to All things Mrs O..what she is doing,what she cares about and ofcourse what she is wearing..why should folks who make an occasional "drive- by" ..nt understand "WE" all adore Mrs O and this is a place where we share that..most people on this site feel she is apart of our family in a lot of ways..we see her in ourselves as we care for and love a sister,auntie or girlfriends..we may not luv every fashion choice..but realize they wear what they like..I happen to think Mrs O looked great !!! So sad folks just are'nt happy unless you fit in a peg or box..how dare Mrs O be a free thinking modern woman ..people should be honest and say she needs to know her place..how dare she go against the grain..I'm mean really

Tuesday, January 25, 2011 at 7:50 PM | Unregistered Commentercrystal

Oscar de la Renta's concerns about the US economy might have more credibility if he demanded that his clothing be manufactured in the US instead of China. IMHO he is feeling hurt because when he dressed LBush and HClinton they generally looked frumpy and no one was excited about his designs.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011 at 9:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterClaire


Tuesday, January 25, 2011 at 11:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterJULIET

I just wish that Oscar would shut up. Why is he even trying to clean up the mess he started over two years ago is beyond me. Michelle is not listening and probably does not care because....Flash, Oscar, she has not and I hope will not allow you to design even her bath robe. Now, since Oscar is so concerned about fairness in the Fashion Industry. What has he or any of the top fashion designers done to have equal Afro American, Latino and Asian models on their stupid runways? (Yes, I said it!) There may have been some increases, but surely not enough. When our POTUS four more years of resident in the white house term is over and he graciously steps down and take his lovely family with him, will Seventh Avenue return back to business as usual? Oscar, please, enough already. If being on Oprah's show did not move Michelle to call you, I do not think it is going to happen. She is just not feeling you. She has curves, real curves. Stick with what you know! STICKS.......

Wednesday, January 26, 2011 at 12:02 AM | Unregistered CommenterLDS

I am sure mrs-o tried on a number of frocks for the occasion, including from american designers. is it possible, just possible she thought "wow, i look really good in this" and that is why she choose it? If i think I look good in something I'm wearing it. some things really are that simple.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011 at 12:02 AM | Unregistered Commentersc

If an american designer manufactures cloths in China.. as most of them do... including Oscar.... then arent they being hypocritical

Wednesday, January 26, 2011 at 12:14 AM | Unregistered Commenterjan p

Mrs o is first lady. She represents not herself but the united states. It's a job. Not a salaried job but this kind oif scrutiny comes with the terrority. She should support us fashion. When she returns to private life. she can wear whatever she wants. Right now she is the image of the united states and her fashion choices show that she is not concerned the united states economy. She has to learn to be sensitive to the messages she is sending.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011 at 12:24 AM | Unregistered CommenterYoohoo

Christina, I'm with you, I don't get the point of Ms. Foley's article. Is she defending Oscar's critique of the First Lady or is she saying that the First Lady should always wear an American designer exclusively at high profile state dinners and such. I must say I usually don't read WWD and other industry publications, but what I want to know is where are the likes of Ms. Foley when the First Lady wears American or foreign-born, American designers. As for Mr. De La Renta, it's time for him to leave the stage, his run is long past due. He needs to stop the pitty party already and realize by now that THIS First Lady will NOT wear his designs. He should depart the scene with some dignity and allow the younger and more forward-thinking designers (including his son) to make their curtain calls now.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011 at 12:25 AM | Unregistered Commentermszonian524

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>