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How Michelle Obama is affecting fashion

October 20, 2010 |  4:08 pm

Michelle Obama The Harvard Business Review has broken down exactly how Michelle Obama is affecting the fashion industry.

With sharp infographics, the piece shows how brands chosen by the first lady have done in the market versus brands that she has not worn.

David Yermack, a professor of finance and business information at New York University, tracked the fashions she wore from November 2008 to December 2009.

She generated an average value of $14 million for any public appearance she made.

Of course, the most pressing question consumers might ask themselves is: Why her? And why now?

Yermack points to three factors: "Her personal interest in fashion, recognized by consumers as authentic; her position as first lady and the intangible value in confers; and the power of the social Internet and e-commerce."

Not all first ladys have had this effect. Technology has made Obama's influence instant because shoppers can buy replications of her looks online at any time.

Among the 29 companies examined by Yermack are J.Crew, Saks and Nike.

-- Lori Kozlowski

Photo: First Lady Michelle Obama at an economic roundtable. Credit: Ted S. Warren / Associated Press