How J. Crew Became First Fashion

Obamas collaborated with store, which sees boost from DC spotlight

By Ambreen Ali,  Newser User

Posted Jan 29, 2009 1:01 PM CST

(Newser) – Representatives of the Obama family worked directly with J. Crew to design multiple inaugural pieces that fit the First Family’s deliberate classic-but-affordable image, the company tells the Chicago Tribune. Despite a few complaints, the Obamas’ unofficial hard-times designer has emerged strong from the inauguration festivities—seeing a 10% stock bump after the personalized pieces debuted.

“This was a very shrewd move, going to a store that isn’t really cheap but is affordable to lots of people,” says one insider. “Allowing J. Crew to roll it out later so we can all have it is a win-win.” The company caught flak because Sasha’s and Malia’s colorful coats, Michelle’s gloves, and Barack’s bow tie weren’t immediately available; all are now slated for a fall release.

J. Crew's bow tie graced Washington dance floors the night of inauguration. Some have complained that the company makes its clothes in China.
J. Crew's bow tie graced Washington dance floors the night of inauguration. Some have complained that the company makes its clothes in China.   (AP Photo)
Customers flooded the J. Crew site trying to buy festive coats worn by Sasha and Malia Obama, but they won't be released until this fall.
Customers flooded the J. Crew site trying to buy festive coats worn by Sasha and Malia Obama, but they won't be released until this fall.   (AP Photo)
Michelle sported J. Crew gloves with her inauguration ensemble. The Obamas plan to return unused clothing to the company.
Michelle sported J. Crew gloves with her inauguration ensemble. The Obamas plan to return unused clothing to the company.   (AP Photo)
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