On Monday, Barack Obama will officially embark on his second term as President of the United States, which of course also means four more years of fawning over First Lady Michelle Obama's every outfit (or not?), beginning with what she wears Monday for the inauguration.
As we've brought up many times, Mrs. O's surprising choice to eschew a big name for then still up-and-coming Jason Wu in 2009 was a career maker for the young designer and nothing would thrill us more than the FLOTUS picking another up-and-comer and then getting to watch his or her career flourish over the ensuing four years.
In hopes that Obama fulfills our wishes, we've chosen 10 talented emerging designers we think might appeal to her and could truly benefit from the exposure. Click through to find out who they are and why we think they'd be a good fit.
Wes Gordon The first lady wore a Wes Gordon jacket with jeans to the Nickelodeon Kid's Choice Awards, but the young designer has some major formalwear chops and a knack for nailing the mood of the moment with his collections. His designs are beautiful, timeless, classic-yet-cool and statement-making. A 2012 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund nominee, Gordon is already on the rise and another little boost from Michelle Obama could be just what he needs to really put him in the household name trajectory.
Katie Ermilio Katie Ermilio has stayed pretty under the radar since launching her line a few years ago, but it's gained a lot of momentum recently. She's been picked up by Barneys and named one of Forbes' 30 under 30. The first lady has yet to wear one of her designs, but we think she'd look absolutely lovely in one of Ermilio's elegant frocks.
Novis Novis, designed by Jordana Warmflash, is one of the youngest labels on our list but we think her flirty-yet-sophisticated wares are right up Mobama's alley. She dressed Megan Hilty for the Golden Globes and is planning her NYFW debut for next month, so she certainly isn't off the radar.
Creatures of the Wind Chicago-based CotW designers Shane Gabier and Christopher Peters are favorites of Chicago luxury retail impresario Ikram Goldman, who's been Michelle Obama's wardrobe consultant for years. Though certain pieces and themes may be a little far-fetched for the FLOTUS, their collections are actually full of demure, ladylike silhouettes. Plus, they're from her hometown!
Daniel Vosovic The early-season Project Runway runner-up is making a comeback with a coveted spot in the CFDA Fashion Incubator and a red carpet endorsement from Emma Stone. His wares are sophisticated, chic and unfussy. We're not sure if they're inaugural ball material, but we could definitely see the FLOTUS wearing DV to something a bit more casual.
Christian Cota Christian Cota won the Fashion Group International Rising Star Award the year after Jason Wu won it. That same year, Michelle Obama wore Wu's design to the inauguration. His clothes are chic and feminine and he knows how to design clothes women want to wear. Mrs. O could definitely be one of those women.
Marissa Webb Marissa Webb only launched her line last year after years cutting her teeth at FLOTUS fave J. Crew. Naturally, buzz followed her from the American retailer and her modern, pretty, All-American designs are certainly FLOTUS-appropriate.
Suno Obama has worn Suno, a New York-based label that produces much of its product in small workshops in Kenya, a few times--but never to a high-profile event. Designers Max Osterweis and Erin Beatty incorporate a perfect mix of demure, classic silhouettes, quirky prints, and exquisite craftsmanship in their collections that should continue to appeal to Mrs. O. We think their formalwear is just as Obama-worthy as their daywear.
Duro Olowu In one fell swoop, Michelle Obama made a label no one had heard of into a label with a JC Penney collaboration. Unsurprisingly, you'll also find Doro Olowu, known for his masterful use of prints and colors, on the racks at Ikram in Chicago. We get the feeling Obama will continue to show Olowu some love in the coming term.
Laura Smalls Another unknown name Mrs. O brought into public consciousness during the first term was Laura Smalls, whose designs she wore twice during the DNC. She looked natural and comfortable in Smalls' elegant designs, so we wouldn't be surprised to see her in them again.