Synopses & Reviews
In many ways the world has never seen a First Lady like Michelle Obama. From the precedent of her race to the singularity of her style, she has been the object of immense fascination. What she says, what she does, and not least, what she wears, is scrutinized around the world.
Writing at the crossroads of politics and fashion, Kate Betts explains why Michelle Obama’s style matters, and how she has helped liberate a generation of women from the false idea that style and substance are mutually exclusive. Following the transformation of Mrs. Obama from her early days on the campaign trail to her first state dinner at the White House, Betts, a longtime fashion journalist and former editor in chief of Harper’s Bazaar, reminds us that while style can be expressed in what you wear, it is inextricably bound up in who you are and what you believe in. In a smart, breezy voice backed by extensive interviews and historical research, Betts shows how Michelle Obama’s bold confidence and self-possession have made her into an icon and transformed the way women see themselves, their roles, and their own style.
With two hundred color photographs, original designer sketches, and historical images, Everyday Icon is not only a lavish tour of our First Lady’s style statements, but also a fascinating behind-the-scenes account of how she created her image and, more important, what that image says about American style today. Much has been written about Michelle Obama, but Kate Betts places her in a broader cultural and historical context; Everyday Icon is the definitive book on how a working mother of two became an unforgettable, global style icon.
"Betts, a Time style and design contributor has been an avid observer of first lady Michelle Obama's style since she first stepped into the limelight. More than a fashion handbook, this book serves as an exploration of the societal and political implications of Mrs. Obama's style, a pondering of why style matters, and an argument for the notion that 'tyle is a part of the content of one's character.' Betts parses the first lady's choices of clothing (cardigans and floral dresses rather than navy blue pants suits) as well as her persona, from her warmth and openness to her decision to let cameras capture her hula-hooping on the White House lawn. Betts also takes a fascinating, well-researched look at first ladies throughout history (Mary Todd Lincoln was criticized for her fashionistaesque extravagance) and muses on the ways in which they were a reflection of women's roles during their years in the White House. With its fine mix of deconstruction and designer interviews, well-sourced research and sumptuous photos, Betts has created a book that is eye and brain candy alike. Photos. (Feb.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
About the Author
"Betts's smart and entertaining analysis shows why Mrs. Obama's style is so important culturally and historically."
-- Tina Brown, editor-in-chief, The Daily Beast
"You can put almost any woman in beautiful clothes and she will look amazing. But if you put an amazing woman in even the simplest clothes, you redefine style completely. Kate Betts reminds us that grace, confidence and intelligence add up to true radiance."
-- Calvin Klein
"Kate Betts has written a fun, informative, and inspiring book about our formidably stylish First Lady, Michelle Obama…a MUST !!!"
-- Diane von Furstenberg
"What a rich book this is, flowing with brilliant cultural insights, smart fashion, and reporting surprises! I learned more about Michelle Obama from Kate Betts than from any other source."
-- David Maraniss, biographer of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama
"Kate Betts looks at style like no one else – the true essence of style being beyond what you wear. First lady Michelle Obama exemplifies the ‘power of style’ through her everyday dignity and grace."
-- Millard "Mickey" Drexler, Chairman and CEO, J. Crew
"American fashion and American politics have long had something unfortunate in common, namely that they tend to treat black women as though we are invisible. As Everyday Icon beautifully illustrates, thanks to Michelle Obama, we are invisible no more…Everyday Icon reminds us that Michelle Obama represents a woman who wears the expectations of the world effortlessly, and whose authenticity is her greatest accessory."
---Keli Goff, author, "Party Crashing: How the Hip-Hop Generation Declared Political Independence."