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Michelle Obama swings to 'It bag' status

December 30, 2009 |  1:36 pm

Nearly a year after the inauguration, it's no surprise that there are a bevy of Obama-rama products on the market to commemorate the first couple, from President Obama flip-flops to cardboard cutouts of the First Lady. But this Mighty Michelle Shopper, which I found at my favorite local bookstore back east (and promptly purchased for the politico on my list) has to be my favorite.

Obamabag It's from Pittsfield, Mass.,-based novelty company Blue Q, makers of such life necessities as the Dirty Girl Bubble Bath, Miso Pretty Lip Balm, Look and Feel Canadian Breath Spray and Supermodel Meal Gum. Just $11.99, the shopper was designed by British illustrator Fiona Hewitt, and is made from 95% recycled polyproplylene.

It's been a top seller since it was introduced in October, according to Mitch Nash, co-owner of Blue Q, who says that his company has shipped tens of thousands of the stylish accessories, with multiple reorders coming in from several retail stores, including Pearl River Mart in New York City. "They are selling well in red and blue states."

"We make lots of these bags, but this was the first topical one we’ve done. We wanted to give it a fantasy feel, to have it embody the feeling of the country being on the upswing." The first lady is appealing on a lot of different levels, he adds, "As a style icon and a healthy eating advocate, which is why we put some gardening elements in the illustration. She's so open and warm and inclusive, and she hasn't created any real controversy, at least not yet. Everyone loves Michelle."

The project was smooth sailing except for one detail--getting the first lady's arms just right, he says. "We had to redraw them several times because they weren't buff enough."

Photo: The Mighty Michelle shopping bag ($11.99), designed by British illustrator Fiona Hewitt and made by Pittsfield, Mass.,-based novelty company Blue Q, is 95% recycled polypropylene plastic and has been a top-seller for the company since it was introduced in October. Photo credit: Blue Q

-- Booth Moore