The Cycle

Government and fashion mix, sometimes

From day one, Michelle Obama has had America at the edge of its seat waiting to solve the mystery of her next fashion choice.  The unlikely mix of mass market, quintessential American style with high-end, new fashion names gives her an edgy, accessible image, but that’s nothing compared to the promotional opportunities the endorsements provide the brands she’s worn. White House Black Market converted its Union Station store in Washington, D.C., into “inaugural dress headquarters – and offered a special collection for the balls; J.Crew issued statements; and Jason Wu… well, he didn’t have to do much besides cake on the pressure for his upcoming show during Fashion Week. The 26-year-old designer now has a name. I smell a Target Go International collection…

President Obama sadly could not do the same for established men’s wear company Hartmarx Corp. when choosing the brand for campaign events and the Inauguration. WWD reports that Hartmarx recently filed for Chapter 11. Though a politically thoughtful choice – According to WWD, the company is a “Chicago-based, moderately priced brand with a long history of manufacturing in union shops in the U.S.” – the story cites a variety of financial issues. Perhaps, like Michelle on Jason, Obama can have a more positive impact on one of these guys.

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