In an age where designers and their fashion houses often take the first opportunity to cash in on outfits worn by celebrities, J Crew is working to protect the first family’s fashion choices.
J Crew’s creative director, Jenna Lyons, reported that the company will no re-run clothing items that Michelle Obama or her daughters wore for the inauguration. Lyon’s attitude not only shows respect for the privacy of the first family, but helps the company retain a sense of exclusivity that high-end store often lose when they choose to mass-market pieces based on what celebrities have worn.
“I feel a sense of responsibility to make people feel good and to make people look good,” Lyons remarked. “For me, the reason I like to make clothes is I want everyone, not just the people who have a really big pocket book, but everyone to feel beautiful.”
After Michelle Obama stepped out in Jason Wu for a second time at last night’s inaugural ball, the designer’s website crashed from millions of curious new viewers and customers. The Michael Kors dress that the First Lady wore on Election Day was completely sold out in less than 48 hours, with knockoffs appearing in other clothing stores. But for those searching for the day looks worn by Michelle and her daughters, they’re out of luck.
The 48-year-old told Today, “Obviously people want to have a part of what she’s wearing, but most often she’s purchased it from previous seasons, or has pulled it out of her closet, so it’s not available. We won’t [rerun these items], just out of respect for the First family.”
“The lady day coat that Malia was wearing has been in our line for years, and we’ll continue that, but we’ll retire the color. We won’t do the color again, just out of respect for the first family,” she added.
J Crew also designed Michelle’s purple gloves, and the embellished sash she wore as a belt.
‘That belt was actually a sash. She fashioned it into a belt around the coat. We won’t rerun that. She did her own thing to that, and out of respect, we’ll let her have her that moment.”
Although the Obama’s J Crew picks were on store racks yesterday, they are now almost entirely sold out.
Malia’s $325 wool-blend coat in “fresh plum” is only now available in a size zero. Michelle’s $265 rhinestone sash, part of J Crew’s bridal collection, is also completely out of stock.
J Crew does not produce more of an item simply because a member of the first family decides to wear it.
“As far as we know, they literally ordered online and they shop like anyone else in America,” Lyons reports. “We found out that morning, just like the rest of the world.”