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How Michelle Obama is affecting fashion

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

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The First Lady's impact on domestic fashion has been phenomenal! Personally I have witnessed how my own friends have really followed the fashion of Michelle Obama big time!!! I don't know anyone else who could have had such influence! Even non-Americans have caught the fashion flame from Mrs. Obama!

Independent Nation! How much did you get paid for that post! I bet lots!


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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