“Fashion plays an important role in my confidence,” says Michelle Obama.  Over 150 students and some of the most coveted minds in the fashion industry gathered at the White House Wednesday for the first ever fashion education workshop.  First Lady Michelle Obama was the perfect hostess, as she is the most influential FLOTUS fashion icon since Jackie O.  She was perfectly dressed in a piece by Natalya Koval, a student from New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology, who was the winner of a design competition.

Anna & FLOTUS

“Now nurturing and fashion are not two words you might expect to go together—fashion is often dismissed as anything but—but I beg to differ,” said Anna Wintour, citing both industry-created employment and opportunity across the globe as well as fashion’s ability to aid in social change, to support causes as varied as fighting AIDS, breast cancer, and hunger, and to “allow us to think about who we are individually and as a society, and to be creative every single day.”

“We want you to see first-hand that a solid education and the willingness to work hard is really at the core of what it’s going to take to achieve your goals: education and hard work.” —The First Lady to #FashionEdu Thank you to all the leaders in the fashion industry who encouraged the students at today’s Fashion Education Workshop to #ReachHigher in their education.” @michelleobama: (Instagram)

The Reach Higher initiative is the First Lady’s effort to inspire every student in America to take charge of their future by completing their education past high school, whether at a professional training program, a community college, or a four-year college or university.  This first fashion education forum was a successful event.  “Fashion is really about passion and creativity, just like music or dance or poetry,” Obama stated.“For so many people across the country, it is a calling; it is a career. It’s the way they feed their families.”

Fashion Panel 2

Jason Wu, Edward Wilkerson, Diane von Furstenberg, Tracy Reese, Prabal Gurung and Jenna Lyons. The panel, moderated by Lilliana Vazquez, covered everything from how the designers started out to how to present yourself on social media.

“Technical design. Pattern making. Production management. Construction. The fashion professionals at today’s #FashionEdu Workshop talked with students about the shortage of workers with these skills. Getting a college degree gives students the opportunity to master these techniques as they enter the industry. #ReachHigher”  @michelleobama: (Instagram)

First Lady Michelle Obama

FLOTUS 1

“Education is the key to success for so many kids. And my goal specifically is to reach out directly to young people and encourage them to take charge of their futures and complete an education beyond high school.” – First Lady Michelle Obama, January 16, 2014

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