Thom Browne talks about Michelle Obama’s inaugural outfit

First Lady Michelle Obama arrives during the presidential inauguration wearing a Thom Browne coat.
(Win McNamee / AFP/ Getty Images)

Just hours after finding out that First Lady Michelle Obama had chosen an outfit of his design to the presidential inauguration, fashion designer Thom Browne shared his reactions and inspirations.

He said the inspiration for the coat in navy silk textured tie jacquard fabric with a fitted bodice and undulated skirt over a dress of navy, loden, gray, pink and white jacquard based on a men’s silk tie jacquard fabric, was the first lady herself.

Photos: Michelle Obama on inauguration day

“She has a really strong sensibility and style of her own,” he said by phone from Paris (where he showed his menswear collection Sunday night). “And she likes well-tailored clothes so the inspiration was doing something that looked tailored and structured and fitted through the body and somewhat A-line for the skirt and the dress ... something that’s as strong as she is as a person and as an individual.

FULL COVERAGE: 57th presidential inauguration

“I kind of assumed that the president would be in navy so I wanted to do something in navy so that they looked really good together. The fabric specifically was one I was developing for my men’s collection that I just showed -- a silk jacquard fabric based off an old tie. There’s a beautiful structure to the fabric.”

“It’s one of those humbling experiences in life. With all the American designers she could have chosen from, the fact that she chose mine was overwhelming and one of those experiences that you can never really put into words other than just [to say] ‘truly humbling’ and I’m so proud that she chose it -- and I’m also so proud that she looked so good in it.”

Obama has worn Browne’s women’s collection before, and the designer met the first lady at the White house this past summer for the National Design Awards.

As far as what sort of impact the high-profile appearance may have on his business? “I don’t [have any idea], but it definitely can’t hurt.”

And to mark the occasion?

I’ve started celebrating already,” he said. “Champagne -- right now.”


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