While Michelle Obama has made lesser known designers like Jason Wu, Thakoon, and Isabel Toledo household names by wearing their labels repeatedly--the first lady has worn Jason Wu at least three times on her European trip alone--WWD asks where the love has gone for big name designers like Donna Karan, Calvin Klein, and Ralph Lauren. Bridget Foley writes that it would be a great boost to a fashion industry in economic crisis.
And it sounds like some designers are getting downright cranky.
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"American fashion right now is struggling," says Oscar de la Renta. "I think I understand what [Obama and her advisers] are doing, but I don't think that is the right message at this particular point....I don't object to the fact that Mrs. Obama is wearing J. Crew to whatever because the diversity of America is what makes this country great. But there are a lot of great designers out there. I think it's wrong to go in one direction only."
He also took a jab at the outfit the first lady wore to meet Queen Elizabeth: "'You don't...go to Buckingham Palace in a sweater.'"
Donna Karan took a more positive tone:
"I hope and believe that this is just a moment," says Karan. "And I hope to be able to dress her, and not only dress her but address her, sit down -- I'm interested in her totality as a woman."
And Vera Wang also weighed in:
"I love seeing young designers and their vision and how they grow and all of that," she says. "On the other hand, of course, I wish she would consider some of us, because I think we also have contributions to make."
Do you think Michelle Obama should branch out and wear the bigger luxury labels?
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