While the First Lady always tries to look her best, whether hanging out at the White House or when out on official business, Michelle Obama may change her style just a tad, after she is presented with 100 hand-woven saris during her current visit to India, along with Barack Obama.
As soon as the presidential couple arrive in New Delhi, according to local businessman Pervez Matin, the first lady will be given the traditional Indian garments, after expert weavers have spent months making them, in time for the Obama’s visit.
The weavers, among them Matin and his family, hope that giving the 100 saris to Michelle Obama will promote their centuries-old industry in India’s holiest city, Varanasi.
As Matin told AFP, “We have used pure gold and silver threads for the sari that we have prepared for Michelle,. It was woven on a handloom by our workers over two months.”
Matin’s sari, which usually retails for a staggering $2,400, is just one of the 100 saris that Varanasi’s weavers are planning to send to Michelle Obama during her three-day visit.
For her part, Michelle Obama arrived in India, stepping off of Air Force One in a fitted dress with matching jacket, designed aptly by Indian-American designer Bibhu Mohapatra.
Matin told reporters that it is a well-known fact that Michelle loves Indian hand-woven fabric, as such, “We know about the First Lady’s love for our handwoven fabric. We will send all the saris and she can pick and choose what she likes.”
Varanasi’s weavers are famous and world renowned for the high-quality silk products which they produce, often taking days, weeks, and even months to produce.
Nevertheless, Varanasi’s time-honored industry is apparently under serious threat, as Matin explained, “Our industry is suffering. We thought it (gifting the saris to Obama) is a good way to highlight the problems that we are facing. If she likes our saris and decides to wear them, it will be a great gesture of beauty with purpose.”