When Michelle Obama became First Lady in 2008, after her husband Barack Obama won the presidential election, life as she knew it changed. As the first African-American First Lady, she was under constant scrutiny and criticism. Whether it was about her hair, her body language, or what everyone seemed to care about most–what she wore. Michelle quickly realized that sometimes what she wore stuck out more to people than what she would say. She became very intentional about what she wore, who she wore, and how she wore it.
But she didn’t do it alone! In 2009, Meredith Koop entered the scene, and became Michelle’s fashion and wardrobe advisor. An extremely important role to any First Lady in office, but very crucial to Michelle as they realized circumstances were a bit different when it came to her fashion choices.
Do not despise your small beginnings. Meredith Koop did not begin her journey in the Whitehouse alongside Michelle Obama. She started her fashion dreams as a sales associate at Ikram boutique in Chicago. Developing a connection with the boutique’s owner Ikram Goldman, she was introduced to Ikram’s client who was Michelle Obama. And as they say, the rest was history.
Together, Meredith and Michelle changed the course of what was considered to be the traditional style of a First Lady. Michelle Obama not only wore big name American designers, she also wore brands that were more affordable like J.Crew and Ann Taylor. Michelle was extremely passionate about showcasing young designers as well as those from diverse backgrounds that may not have always been recognized. Meredith and Michelle developed a strategy that seemed to work very well.
Michelle Obama sporting a few of her best outfits
The relationship between Meredith and Michelle did not end when Barack Obama’s second term ended, it only got better. After leaving the Whitehouse, Michelle Obama was liberated and able to freely wear what she wanted without the constant nitpicking.
After writing Becoming, a New York Times Bestselling memoir, Michelle Obama went on a phenomenal tour. Taking on North America and Europe, thousands of people filled out stadiums to hear the former First Lady discuss her upbringing, education, purpose, and time in office. Each and every night her outfits also spoke volumes. Free at last, Michelle Obama with the help of Meredith Koop continued to stun the world. One night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, Michelle wore a pair of sparkly knee-high Balenciaga boots that went viral and almost sold out completely. Twitter went absolutely nuts over Michelle’s boots, in the best way possible.
Michelle Obama one night of the Becoming Tour being interviewed by Sarah Jessica Parker
On May 6th, 2020, Michelle Obama’s documentary Becoming aired on Netflix, a heartwarming, inspiring watch. The hour and a half long documentary also featured Meredith Koop and her take on how she has styled Michelle Obama, specially since leaving the Whitehouse, but also during her Becoming Tour. Meredith Koop and Michelle Obama hand in hand create masterpieces that transcend fashion. An influential duo that will go down in history.