Her name is Maria Pinto (pictured with Michelle above) and she is the woman behind many of the possible First Lady’s signature looks. The bell sleeves, the tailored suits, the simple color palettes, all created by a Chicago-based designer who will open her first boutique in the “windy city,” June 2008 according to blog “Runway to Retail.”
The shop is to be located in the West Loop at 133 N. Jefferson St., neighboring Sepia restaurant. I write this because A LOT of blog traffic has come my way by people desperate to read more about Michelle and her clothes. I thought I was the only one curious, but apparently the chic, simple look Michelle’s rocking has folks clamoring for her clothes. So once I got a name it was easy to find out everything you ever wanted know now about the clothes Michelle rocks and the woman behind the designs.
Pinto described her style in Chicago Magazine as, “Feminine with some punch. My signature look for day is always a crazy combination of a great lace skirt or a laser-cut leather skirt, a Diesel T-shirt, and always an inspiring piece of jewelry. This combination lifts my spirits, has comfort and fantasy, and gets me through my day.”
Writes Runway to Retail:
Pinto’s luxurious designs have been a mainstay on Chicago’s elite, including Oprah Winfrey and Michelle Obama, the stylish wife of presidential hopeful Barack Obama, who is often photographed in a Maria Pinto design. Now shoppers will be able to have access to her beautiful ready-to-wear collection with an inviting new shopping experience. “The store will be a natural extension of my atelier,” said Maria Pinto. “My collections are known for well-edited luxury; each garment incorporates innovative materials and sophisticated tailoring from beginning to end. This attention to detail will be reflected in the environment of the retail space from the moment a client walks through the door.”
Boy. Makes me wish I was rich. And I wonder, did Oprah hip Michelle to Pinto? The mind reels at the notion. But it would make sense. A First Lady prospect needs to look her best and Oprah’s unabashedly pro-Obama, and it’s likely she was pro-Obama long before Obamamania was new and may have slipped Michelle a card.
Here’s a sampling of Pinto’s spring collection. The designer’s style should feel highly familiar to all Michelle Obama watchers.
And now for another look at Michelle Obama, dressing better than The Snob. (To see previous retrospective click here.)
probably quite “handsy” as they’re still at that “mommy look what I made” sticky fingers age. But just like she’s not afraid to go out on the stump for Barack, go to battle with his detractors (she’s talking about you, Bill) or glare down her own tormentors, and that’s you, Ms. Cindy McCain who blinked and hid the minute someone called you on your “proud of your country” slam. You weren’t proud enough to man up on Michelle Obama, but I can’t blame her. Michelle, as lovely as she is, looks like she would cut a bitch … while wearing white.
If you don’t believe me that Michelle has her clothes skills on point, just get a look at her when she turns resplendent in the evening. The lights go low and the cameras start flashing and a star is born. With her 5’11” super model height she dares to straighten up and throw those shoulders back, announcing to the world, “Make way! The future First Lady has arrived!”
This pictures also cement that, dare I say it, Michelle and Barack are an amazingly good looking couple. I mean, seriously. One can only wish for that level of intelligence and hotness in one relationship.