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Lady Obama hosts fashion workshop at the White House
Oct '14
Image courtesy: White House
Image courtesy: White House
She has always managed to turn heads with her classy impeccable sartorial choices and now The First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama, has taken up a novel initiative to educate a bunch of young aspiring design students and industrialists on the delicate art of style.

The lady recently hosted the first-ever ‘Fashion Education Workshop’ at the White House with some of the nation’s leading designers and popular magazine editors, such as the Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour and designers Jason Wu, Diane von Furstenberg and Narciso Rodriguez.

Attended by nearly 150 next-gen designers from the design schools of the East Coast, the workshop, which was divided into five segments, conducted discussions on topics like the construction in fashion, entrepreneurship and fashion journalism.

While addressing the participants at the event, the first lady said, “I know that many of you are hoping to one day pursue a career in fashion, and that’s why we invited you here today -- because we want you to really understand what it’s going to take to be successful. And we want you to see firsthand that a solid education and the willingness to work hard is really at the core of what it’s going to take to achieve your goals: education and hard work. It’s that simple.”

The lady further spoke about the importance of each and every aspect of the clothing industry, “There are so many different aspects to this industry. Whether it’s business marketing or technology and manufacturing, even agriculture that produces the wool and the cotton that ultimately becomes our clothes, it’s a big, complicated industry.”

She later talked about the role played by the industry in the country’s overall economy, “The industry is also a huge contributor to this economy. Last year alone, Americans spent more than $350 billion on clothing and footwear, and about 1.4 million American workers are employed annually by retailers and others in the fashion industry -- so a lot of jobs, a lot of income that is generated by many of the people who are sitting in this room.”

Mrs. Obama also stressed on the significance of communication between the designers and his assistants, “You learned the writing and verbal skills that you need to communicate your inspiration with others -- because the bottom line is that if you can’t share your thoughts and ideas, no one will hear them. There’s no mindreading in fashion design; you have to be able to articulate what you want. So you have to be a reader, a writer, a thinker, a communicator.”

Jointly organized by the Parsons The New School for Design, the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) and the Pratt Institute of Technology, the event also hosted a design competition under the creative guidance of designers Phillip Lim and Lela Rose. The two FIT student winners from the contest were Chelsea Chen (whose prize-winning blue and black ensemble was worn by Lady Obama herself at the workshop) and Natalya Koval. (PB)

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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