As The Cut pointed out, Valérie Trierweiler's love of Le Tanneur handbags has already inspired shoppers. After Trierweiler gifted Michelle Obama a Le Tanneur bag at the G-8 Summit, French women rushed to scoop up their own, forcing boutiques to place extra "emergency" orders to meet demand, according to French news site Voici.fr.
Cue The Valerie Trierweiler Effect? Maybe. But we wonder if Trierweiler's style is idiosyncratic and distinctive enough to cause a retail rush the way Kate Middleton and even Michelle Obama can.
The duchess is particular, if not original, about her style signatures: slim, solid-colored sheath dresses; nude pumps; and the occasional wild card (pink skinny jeans, anyone?). Michelle Obama's signatures, as we all know, are even more obvious: bright colors, often mixed together; colorful prints; wide belts over cardigans; brooches; and those ever-present flats.
Valerie's fashion, on the other hand, is less distinctive. Her love of high heels is well known, as she's been seen sporting rather high, black pumps at major events. She tends towards blazers and other tailored pieces, as opposed to Carla Bruni's loose layers. And she is almost always seen in neutrals, from khaki jackets to black pantsuits.
All of which are classy, sophisticated styles. But will they inspire women to go hunting for dark pantsuits at Ann Taylor? Basic trench coats at J. Crew? Black pumps at, well, any shoe store ever?
It remains to be seen whether Valérie Trierweiler can truly influence shopping patterns and move merchandise the way the Duchess of Cambridge can. In the meantime, we're perfectly happy to follow Trierweiler's simple yet flawless fashion as she gains her first lady footing.