Wu Wins Big: Michelle Obama’s Style Adviser Revealed

With the simple act of donning a floor-length, handmade flower and Swarovski crystal-embellished ivory gown to the Inaugural balls last night, Michelle Obama solidified her status as a fashion icon. (Her appearance on the cover of Vogue come March won’t hurt either.) The dress looked exquisite on her (albeit a bit long, especially considering all of the dancing she and her husband had to do last night); more importantly, she looked absolutely at ease in the design from 26-year-old wunderkind Jason Wu (whose floral-embellished dress Mrs. Obama sported just a few weeks earlier for an interview with Barbara Walters). As for Wu, the designer told the Today Show that he was completely unaware Mrs. Obama was wearing his design to one of the most highly anticipated events on the 2009 fashion calendar until the moment it was broadcast live.

While the First Lady’s fashion choices in recent months have proven her style to be utterly individual, it comes as no surprise that a certain Chicago-based boutique owner is garnering attention for influencing the icon’s sartorial eye. Besides, a full-time mother on the campaign trail doesn’t exactly have time to sift through Style.com slideshow upon slideshow to find the perfect formal, high-fashion frock. According to Grazia, Ikram Goldman, owner of a namesake Chicago boutique at which Mrs. Obama frequently shops, “advises Michelle Obama on all matters fashion.” And a scroll through Ikram’s designer roster — which includes Jason Wu, Isabel Toldeo, and Jimmy Choo (all of which Mrs. Obama wore within the last 36 hours) — proves the connection is very likely. Ikram also carries Narciso Rodriguez, Thakoon, and Tom Binns, all of which are Mrs. Obama favorites.

The indirect plugs Mrs. Obama has given Goldman’s shop by wearing many of the designers it carries will no doubt solidify Ikram’s success for years to come. But that’s not to say the boutique owner hasn’t given back to the Obamas — or, more specifically, given Barack reason not to be upset with his wife’s shopping habits. Goldman donated a total of $6,900 to Obama’s campaign this past fall. So everybody’s happy.

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