All Michelle Obama has to do to increase consumer spending is step out of the White House in some affordable fashions.
The first lady is now doing for women's clothing company Talbots what she has already done for J.Crew.
The $126.75 silk rose-print Talbots dress (sleeveless, beneath that sweater) that Michelle wears alongside mom Marian Robinson on the new cover of Essence has become an instant best-seller in the couple of days that the magazine has been on newsstands.
It all started back in January, shortly after the president was sworn in...
"We sent a package from our spring collection to Michelle's stylist the day after the inauguration," said Talbots' VP of public relations Meredith Paley. "We've been waiting to see if she was going to wear any of it, and then surprise, there she was on the cover of the magazine."
Before the mag came out, Paley said the company expected to sell a total of 250 dresses a week among its 600 stores, catalog and website business. They're now rushing 1,500 more into production. "They should be available within two weeks," Paley said.
In the cover story, pegged to Mother's Day, Michelle's mom (who also moved into the White House) talks about what she thinks her late husband, Fraser Robinson III, would have thought about his daughter's life today. "You would not be able to shut him up," she said. "He would not be able to stand this. He would be beaming until you would just want him to stop talking."
The way things look now, he'd have to get in line to gush.