Can Michelle Obama Save Fashion Industry?

"I think Michelle's style is so approachable and so much like ours," said Kamali, who recently launched a less expensive NK line for Wal-Mart. "She will have a lot of variety and opportunities to show the many sides of a woman. We're going to see her in workout clothes and clothes that fit the lifestyle of a real American woman. I think it's beyond a shift dress."

Chase agreed. "She'll look great in Michael Kors couture and J. Crew," she said. "She's going to be able to span the horizon."

She is especially excited that Obama tends to favor American designers, like Chicago-based Maria Pinto, who designed the purple shift dress Obama wore the day she bumped fists with her husband, and Narciso Rodriguez, whose flame-red dress she wore on the night her husband was elected.

Her Self-Esteem Outshines Her Outfits

"I love that dress," said Chase. "I thought it was really appropriate and smart, and the whole family blended together well."

With her accessories and yet affordable clothes, Obama appears to be the fashion icon for these challenging economic times.

For example, her use of accessories, cardigans, broaches and belts, can show women how to bring new life to the clothes already in their closets, Chase said.

What impresses Kamali more than anything Obama wears is the future first lady's self-esteem that seems to radiate from inside.

"Her confidence and inner beauty are far more powerful than anything she puts on," Kamali said. "It just emphasizes everything she puts on."

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