If you are anything like us, yesterday was a total wash when it came to getting work done. The Autonomie team was either braving the crowds at the inauguration (go Gina!) or completely glued to the tv all day long. We were just totally intrigued by this special moment in our nation’s history and are truly excited for all that is to come in 2009 and beyond!
One thing that of course caught our attention as owners of a Fair Trade fashion company was all of the commentary on the clothing worn by the Obamas throughout the day. Who wasn’t gossiping over Michelle Obama’s inauguration day dress made by Isabel Toledo and then the stunning gown she wore, danced in, and tripped on at all 10 inaugural balls. If you’re not up on the fashion scoop, Michelle’s ball gown was designed and made especially for her by new up-and-coming designer Jason Wu. It seems that critics across the board are applauding Michelle for her Big Day outfit choices for not only herself, but also for her 2 young daughters, Malia, age 10, and Sasha, age 7.
The totally adorable and brightly colored winter coats donned by the girls as they watched their father be sworn in as the next leader of our country were made by none other than J.Crew’s new kid’s line Crew Cuts. While Malia and Sasha’s coats were made especially for them and no other little girl will be able to wear the exact same thing, Michelle is still getting praised for not only how ultra cute the girls looked, but on her choice of using a very accessible and relatively affordable fashion brand unlike First Moms in the past. While typical inaugural day fashions cost upwards of $1,000, Michelle’s use of an everyday clothing company found in malls across the nation has endeared her more to the American public than ever before.
While we agree with the critics that it’s wonderful to see Michelle Obama not let the celebrity-dom of the White House get to her head and continue to shop in all-American locales, we are hardly handing out the accolades when we feel Mrs. Obama could have made a much bigger statement by dressing her daughters in outfits not made in sweatshops. It’s true that Fair Trade and/or eco-friendly children’s fashions are much more difficult to find than just paying a visit to the local mall, but they are no less adorable or affordable (like this Organic Baby Cardigan from Fair Indigo) and would have made enormous strides for the ethical fashion movement towards building more awareness and peace around the garment industry. No doubt Crew Cuts sales of little girls’ jackets will soar through the roof after yesterday, so why not channel that celebrity power to some of the smaller, grassroots do-gooder companies that are so very aligned with Mr. Obama’s values and mission and are working tirelessly to bring positive change to both America and the world?
Now don’t get us wrong….we LOVE, love, love the Obamas. How could you not? They’re a beautiful, smart, loving and competent family. The perfect face for America in 2009 and honestly, a breath of fresh air. But we do hope that in the very near future, Mrs. Obama will start making headlines about supporting Fair Trade and eco-friendly fashions for her daughters. Now wouldn’t that get some well-deserved attention from the media!