In The Media


By the time Michelle Obama appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on Oct. 27, she was America’s newest fashion icon. By wearing their designs, she turned Maria Pinto and Narciso Rodriguez into household names. And that night, retailer J. Crew found itself next in line to cash in on Obamania.

When Leno asked about the price of Obama’s outfit, alluding to the $150,000 Republican VP nominee Sarah Palin allegedly spent on a shopping spree, Obama laughed and replied, “Actually, this is a J. Crew ensemble.” When Leno admitted he didn’t know the brand, she beamed, “Ladies, we know J. Crew. You can get some good stuff online!”

The next day, J. Crew put a page on its website promoting Obama’s outfit, with the headline, “All politics aside… this outfit gets our vote.” The traffic surge caused the site to crash, though the company quickly got it back up.

Clara Northcott, president of Northcott Communications, a Toronto-based fashion and lifestyle PR firm, predicts sales will continue to thrive. “The brand has been renewed,” she says. “They’re getting a lot of publicity and I have no doubt they’ll leverage it.”

On Inauguration Day, J. Crew put an ad on its homepage congratulating the first family. That same day Malia and Sasha Obama appeared in matching custom-made J. Crew coats, and Barack Obama wore a white satin J. Crew bowtie to the inaugural ball.

While the company declined to comment on how the Obama family’s endorsement has affected sales, J. Crew spokesperson Heather McAuliffe says, “We’re really honoured they chose us.”

Article by Russ Martin – Originally published by

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