Thursday 8 December 2016

Rejoice at four more years of Michelle's elegance and grace

Published 10/11/2012 | 17:00

WITH just over half of the American public delighted with itself and its choice of president this week, there is much rejoicing in fashion. Four more years of modern style icon Michelle Obama, is serious business for designers, media and fashion aficionados alike. Like Britain's style ambassador, Kate Middleton, the First Lady's every move, and what she's wearing while she moves is documented in great detail and kicks-back website hits, PR and sales to those who cover her figuratively, and literally.

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'The Kate Effect' is the buzz phrase of 2012, succinctly giving a moniker to the spoils of the phenomenon that is the global obsession with what the Duchess of Cambridge wears. Shoes, dresses, coats and clutch bags have often sold out within hours of Middleton doing her official hand-shaking duties in a particular ensemble. Though Kate pays for every single garment and accessory, her inadvertent but unavoidable patronage has elevated brands such as LK Bennett (the nude shoe maker), Orla Kiely, Reiss and Jaeger to the global fashion stage.

Only last week, Jane Shepherdson, the CEO of British high-end high-street retailer Whistles, questioned the actual impact of 'The Kate Effect' on a business's fortunes in an interview with 'Business of Fashion'. On the surface Shepherdson seemed grateful for the global exposure of Kate's choice of a blouse by the brand for her engagement portrait, and most recently a dress for the Olympics opening ceremony, but clearly stated that there were no real tracked sales associated with her selections as the pieces were already selling well, or were archived.

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