The Washington Post has an extensive look at White House aide Meredith Koop, who we've speculated is Michelle Obama's new unofficial stylist. Politico first dropped Koop's name after hearing it from a hairstylist who worked with the First Lady. And WaPo's story lines up, with a chunk of the reporter's information coming from Vera Chamberlin, "Koop's hair colorist and friend at the D.C. salon Immortal Beloved."
And Kristina Schake, a spokeswoman for Michelle Obama, confirmed Koop's role to WaPo, saying, "Ms. Koop's responsibilities include advising the first lady on her wardrobe and acting on her behalf in arranging for purchases, including considering the best offered price and buying on discount if discounts are available."
But, first things first, how did Koop happen upon the White House? Apparently the 29-year-old Vanderbilt grad was first sent two years ago by former unofficial first lady stylist Ikram Goldman to help Michelle with her outfits on location. A source told WaPo that Koop's new role has caused a rift between her and Goldman.
Now, back to Chamberlin:
In a phone interview, Chamberlin said she had never heard of Goldman and recalled that Koop had recently sat in her chair and lamented about her inability to attend all the fashion show events she might have liked because she needed to "focus on what is right for the first lady."
Koop, she said, was "absolutely" always on the lookout for Obama outfits, was "incredibly busy" and once nearly jumped out of her salon seat to call a store about procuring a particular garment. She relayed how Koop talked excitedly about deciding which hats Obama and her daughters should wear to the Kentucky Derby, and which dresses they should don to meet Queen Elizabeth II.
Instead of ordering clothes through Ikram's boutique, designers now send items directly to the White House, and if Michelle choses to wear them, they are paid for. If not, they are returned.
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