Washington, Jan.19 (ANI): Fashion industry observers in the United States expecte to see the club of First Lady designers expanding and becoming more diverse during the tenure of the Obama administration.
A Washington Times report says that incoming US First Lady Michelle Obama is likely to give encouragment to a new generation of lesser-known women and minority designers in a profession often dominated by white men.
Michelle Obama says the paper has already has brought attention to such female newcomers as Maria Pinto, a fellow Chicagoan, and Thai native Thakoon.
Italian-American Pinto, who was an obscure dressmaker two years ago, is rumored to be a leading contender for Obama's choice for her inaugural gown.
The paper quoted Nick Verreos, a Hispanic women's designer, as saying that Michelle Obama would seek to bring "new designers like me with her over the next four years."
Since the 1960s, the First Ladies' clothiers have been an exclusive club, made up mostly of white, male designers.
They have included Oleg Cassini (Jacqueline Kennedy), Adolfo (Nancy Reagan), Arnold Scaasi (Barbara Bush), and Oscar de la Renta (Laura Bush). Hillary Rodham Clinton's choice was the only woman: Donna Karan.
"Mrs. Obama is comfortable in her own skin and does not need the old guard of designers to complete her message of youth and energy," the paper quoted Treena Lombardo, fashion market director for the fashion industry's W magazine, as saying. (ANI)