Culture

Michelle Obama’s Inauguration Look Has Gone Viral — Here’s The Team Behind It

Michelle Obama’s inauguration look has been a topic of discussion on social media.

By now you’ve probably seen Michelle Obama‘s well-received look for President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’ inauguration. From her laid hair to her burgundy suit, Obama’s suit served to celebrate Biden succeeding Donald Trump, as well as to remind us that she’s the most fashionable FLOTUS this country has had.

Now, you’re probably wondering, “who’s responsible for making sure Obama was the best dressed for the occasion?” Well, there’s four people in particular who are behind her now-viral inauguration look: Yene Damtew, Meredith Koop, Christy Rilling and Carl Ray.

Damtew is the reason why “laid” is trending on Twittter. A hairstylist and owner of Aesthetics Salon in Arlington, VA, Damtew is responsbile for Obama’s fresh blow out.

Photo Credit: Image Is Everything

“Even though it started off as a typical day at work for me, it really is humbling,” Damtew said in an e-mail. “While she is a mentor and friend to me, she is still a client. I am happy with the way the look turned out, and I am even more happy that so many Americans love it, too.”

“Seeing Mrs. Obama hug her friend Dr. Jill Biden and stand up in support of Kamala Harris was such a high moment and so necessary after the year that was 2020,” she added. “The fact that they all looked beautiful is just icing on the cake.” 

It’s Damtew’s work that has been most talked about on social media in regards to Obama’s look.

When asked about seeing “laid” as a trending topic on Twitter, Damtew said: “It’s a salute to black culture. I love it. It’s the way we ‘big up’ each other. I love to see our culture mainstream.”

As for the styling, that’s courtesy of Koop, with the stylist having Obama outfitted in a coat, sweater, pants and belt made by designer Sergio Hudson, boots by shoe designer Stuart Weitzman, and a mask by couturier Christy Rilling. (Rilling handled tailoring, too.) And lastly, Obama’s makeup was done by makeup artist Carl Ray.

It’s worth noting that Hudson has been a longtime favorite of the former First Lady. During her 2019 Becoming book tour, Obama wore outfits made by the Black designer throughout it, including a purple pantsuit she wore for an Atlanta sit down with Gayle King in May, as well as a sequined jumpsuit at the Essence Festival in July. Hudson recently shared an image of Obama wearing the purple pantsuit on his Instagram. Harris has also worn pieces from Hudson, too.

Read more reactions to Obama’s inauguration look below.

Elijah C. Watson

Elijah Watson serves as Okayplayer's News & Culture Editor. When he's not writing he's listening to Sade and crying or watching My Hero Academia with his partner.

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