Chicago Retailer Guards First Lady's Closet

Some frown on Ikram Goldman picking Michelle's designers
By Ambreen Ali,  Newser User
Posted Feb 12, 2009 10:36 AM CST
Some designers say they could have done much better than Obama's white inaugural ball gown, but that Goldman kept them from trying.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
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(Newser) – Michelle Obama may have good fashion sense, but it's Ikram Goldman who holds the lock and key to the first lady's closet, reports the New York Times in a look at their unusual relationship. The Chicago boutique owner ultimately selected four designers—each featured in her store—for the inauguration, causing some to frown on the exclusivity Goldman enjoys, the fact that she's not a stylist by trade, and her ability to profit from the arrangement.

"It is strange to think that the wife of the leader of the free world would choose clothes from only one store, when there is a wealth of clothes out there, including me," says designer Arnold Scassi, who has dressed first ladies since Mamie Eisenhower. He couldn't recall another time when designers didn't have direct access to the White House.