Given her eight years at the White House, it was little surprise that Michelle Obama knew precisely how to dress for the occasion.
Continuing her long tradition of championing emerging labels and young Black designers, the former first lady wowed at Wednesday’s inauguration in a head-to-toe plum and burgundy ensemble by LA-based Sergio Hudson.
The outfit comprised a turtleneck sweater and wide-legged bootcut pants, with a structured coat helping her strike the balance between understated elegance and power dressing.
She completed the look with a black face mask and one of Hudson’s signature handmade leather belts, fastened with a circular brushed brass buckle. Hers was, of course, in a matching purple shade, though black and leopard print versions retail on the designer’s website for $295 (Ksh32,400) and $325 (Ksh35,700) respectively.
The outfit — and Obama’s wavy, voluminous hair — generated significant buzz on social media as she arrived at the inauguration with husband and 44th president, Barack Obama. “I am LOSING IT over how good Michelle Obama looks!” tweeted writer and podcast host Tracy Clayton.
Author Roxane Gay meanwhile wrote: “Hi. I’m Michelle Obama. Yes. I am flawless with my hair laid right and my plum ensemble. Thank you.”
It was a huge day for Hudson, who reportedly also designed the pair of heels worn by Vice President Kamala Harris (she paired them with an outfit by another young Black designer, Christopher John Rogers).
Hailing from South Carolina, Hudson launched his eponymous ready-to-wear label in 2014. The brand describes its aesthetic as “immaculate tailoring and infusions of androgyny paired with overtly sexy silhouettes.”
This isn’t the first time Obama has worn Hudson and supported his brand. At 2019’s Essence Festival in New Orleans, she appeared in a sparkling jumpsuit with one of his signature belts — this time in navy.
The designer is yet to comment on the inauguration via social media, though he took to Instagram earlier this week to wish Obama a happy birthday.
He posted a picture of her wearing a custom purple pantsuit by the designer, which she had worn on her Becoming book tour, alongside a caption describing her as “my forever FLOTUS.”
“Thank you for supporting the brand and doing it so fabulously!”