Lifestyle & Belief

Michelle Obama's global style


US President Barack Obama stands with First Lady Michelle Obama shortly before greeting Indian President Manmohan Singh and his wife Gursharan Kaur at the North Portico of the White House November 24, 2009, as the Obamas hosted their first official State Dinner. Mrs. Obama wore a gold dress by Indian-American designer Naeem Khan.



It was an overnight success story for Taiwan-born designer Jason Wu when Michelle Obama wore one of his dresses to President Barack Obama's 2009 inaugural ball. Relatively unknown at the time, Wu was catipulted to success once the first lady danced in his cream-colored chiffon gown. He now has a successful couture following, his own line at Target, and coveted spots on some of the highest-profile catwalks.

But Wu isn't the only talented international designer the FLOTUS has favored. Here are five more; see the slideshow above for pictures of the first lady showcasing their work.

Bibhu Mohapatra: An established high-fashion designer who hails from India, Mohapatra is featured at this year's Fashion Week. According to his website, "Bibhu’s love of sumptuous Indian fabrics, vibrant colors, and the crafts of his native land have been the inspiration behind his elegant designs."

The first lady wore one of those vibrant creations to a 2012 appearance on Jay Leno's Tonight Show.

Junya Watanabe: Japanese women's wear and accessory designer Watanabe was born in Fukushima, Japan in 1961, and attended fashion school in Tokyo. He's behind at least one of the first lady's signature wardrobe staples: the cardigan. Who knew sweater sets could be so hip?

Naeem Khan: This up-and-coming Indian-American designer is another of the first lady's favorites. She wore one of his gorgeous golden gowns to the first official state dinner the Obamas hosted in 2009, when their guests were Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his wife, Gursharan Kaur.

Roksanda Ilincic: This edgy "newcomer," as New York Magazine dubbed her, is Serbian born. "What makes Ilincic’s work especially unique is that her clothes are hand-sewn by a seamstress in her native Belgrade," the magazine wrote. Along with Michelle Obama, reigning style queen Kate Middleton has also worn Ilincic.

Thakoon Panichgul: Thai-American designer Panichgul came to the United States as a child and was raised in Omaha. "With a nod to his Asian heritage and a talent for intricate detail, Panichgul has a knack for the ethereal," says New York Magazine. Mrs. Obama appears to be a big fan, having been spotted in his designs dozens of times.