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J.Crew to Retire Michelle Obama’s Belt, Malia’s Coat

The always-composed creative director of J.Crew, Jenna Lyons, stopped by the Today show yesterday to discuss accessorizing Michelle Obama and dressing Malia for the inaugural parade. Lyons “found out that morning, as [FLOTUS] left to go to church … watching TV just like the rest of the world” that she was wearing a J.Crew belt (with her Thom Browne jacket), gloves, and shoes, and that the first daughter picked a coat, dress, scarf, and gloves from the brand.

When asked what typically happens the day after Mrs. Obama is out and about in J.Crew — as she has been on many occasions — Lyons explained, “Obviously people want to have a taste or part of what she’s wearing, but most often she’s purchased it in previous seasons or has pulled it out of her closet so it’s not available,” and “out of respect for the First Family, we don’t” duplicate the items in the next collections. “The Lady Day coat that Malia was wearing has been in our line for years, and we’ll continue that, but we’ll retire the color.” However, Michelle’s belt, which was actually a sash, will be entirely discontinued: “We won’t rerun that. She did her own thing to that, and out of respect, we’ll let her have that moment.”

Browne, though coming from a different place because his dress and jacket were submitted to Michelle for consideration and not mass-produced to begin with, told the Cut he didn’t plan to make her inaugural look available for customers, saying, “I designed it specifically for her. So, no.” Similarly, most, if not all, of Kate Middleton’s preferred designers decline to reproduce her custom looks. It’s sort of like in sports, when they retire a really good athlete’s number. It’s encouraging to see that even some things in fashion are sacred.

J.Crew to Retire MObama’s Belt, Malia’s Coat