Michelle Obama's Newest Fashion Fixation: Alexis Bittar

12/03/2010 at 01:30 PM ET

Michelle Obama's Newest Fashion Fixation: Alexis Bittar
Mustafa Quraishi/AP, inset: Courtesy Alexis Bittar

Michelle Obama may have a closet full of looks from Jason Wu, Narciso Rodriguez and J.Crew, but when it comes to jewelry, Brooklyn-bred designer Alexis Bittar has the First Lady’s undivided attention. Over the course of a month, Obama has been spotted all over the globe in a variety of baubles from the jeweler, whose preferred working materials include lucite and semi-precious stones. For an appearance on Barbara Walters’ Thanksgiving Day special, the First Lady punched up an all-black ensemble with an Alexis Bittar poppy pin. In the following two weeks, her admiration was in full bloom, selecting the jeweler’s $395 flower pin while on a Presidential trip to India and then again at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C.! Soon thereafter, the style chameleon demonstrated her versatility with three other Bittar selections, donning a playful hand carved bee brooch on Halloween, a triple strand pearl necklace and then lucite domed button clip earrings while abroad in India. And though Bittar has a fashion pedigree—he was the 2010 CFDA recipient of “Accessory Designer of the Year”—his designs don’t have to break the bank, with pieces starting at just $95 at alexisbittar.com. – Justine Harman


Michelle Obama's Newest Fashion Fixation: Alexis Bittar
Olivier Douliery/Landov

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Showing 76 comments

LC on



Are you kidding me? You people don’t think that the President of the United States draw a paycheck, therefore, his family has a right to purchase clothing, etc. It is not like she bought expensive anything. You all are idiots!!!

G on

No, actually, Ms. Obama did quite well for herself as a hospital administrator and attorney before becoming the first lady.

ng on

Agreed with LC! There goes the tax dollars!

Yes I’m sure he draws a paycheck but not one large enough to cover everything they wear and all their trips!

ng on

not to mention the 20 or more personal assistants she has

Liz on

Who says that the First Lady even paid for it? They could very well have been gifts, it would be really smart for an up and coming designer to give away a few pieces to one of the most photographed women in America. It’s great advertising and she’s always commented on her style, it’s fantastic P.R!

Nelly on

Great style and great lady!



Denise on

Yes, the President receives a paycheck. I believe it was increased a couple of years ago and I believe it’s around $400,000 a year. They have to pay for their own food, clothes, private schools for their daughters, etc. So, what they do with their own money is their business. However, just like all “celebrities” I am sure she receives lots of FREE items as long as she mentions their names.

JF on

You are an idiot if you think they are purchasing their wardrobes with tax dollars.

Gigi on

Why there was no issues when Jackey Kenndy dresses or Mrs. Regan clothing. Those are the best dresses women in the white houuse. This is so sickening. People get a life.

allazay on

That’s all well for her she should be making some donations to some food pantry’s across the country,now that unemployment has run out for thousands of people and the holidays are upon us and people are poorer then ever. Shame on her and she could stand to loose a few pounds herself.

Brooke on

Congratulations to the designer for getting some good publicity! Unfortunately, I’m not a big fan of pins. They ruin my shirts and jackets.

Meg on

She does not have great style. She has a stylist people. She does not go to a store. (same as Katie Holmes, etc..)

Jerri on

Whatever gifts the President or Mrs. Obama receive as a result of his office belong to the U.S. Govt. That’s the law. I’m quite certain that Mrs. Obama pays for all her own clothing and accessories from her husband’s wages and their savings. These pieces may not be affordable for low to middle income individuals, they are for someone of their income bracket.

E on

I suppose you all think that Sarah Palin saves her money and spends wisely? Give me a break. Respect our President and First Lady! Your just continuing to show the racism that still exist in this country! Get over it! Black people are in the White House!!!!!

Maya on

Hey E no one ever said anything about them being black….why don’t YOU get off your high horse racist rant!

Brooke on

I think that all this political arguing is overshadowing the point of the article, which is basically a puff piece to promote Alexis Bittar. Personally, I feel badly for Ms. Bittar now, because no one is actually talking about her work here.

Aknsa on

Yeah- I am sure both their salaries combined necessitated reserving 800 rooms for the trip to India. Oh- and while cavorting through Indonesia- President Obama was once again MIA to lay a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier fro Veterans Day. Give me a break. They are living the high life on my tax dollars!

jojo on

Come on the Obama’s are millionaire’s. They don’t need tax payer money to buy what they need. You all are a bunch of haters. Kudo’s to you Ms. Obama for your excellent taste and complete class as the first lady. You give us all something to strive for.

jes on

Love the pieces shown, granted I agree with who ever mentioned the damage they do to clothes.

Scarlett on

No matter what she chooses, she does not choose the proper clothes for a first lady. She always looks like a Ft. Lauderdale housewife heading out for lunch with the girls. I don’t understand why her staff does not help her choose proper clothes for her height and her size. Sorry folks, I am not impressed. She lacks class.

Linda on

Such an elegant and classy lady. We should all be proud! She’s smart and intelligent. It is so disturbing to me to see some of these comments. We have come so far, but have so much farther to go. We the people should learn to care about and accept one another!

Scarlett on

No matter what she chooses, she does not choose the proper clothes for a first lady. She always looks like a Ft. Lauderdale housewife heading out for lunch with the girls. I don’t understand why her staff does not help her choose proper clothes for her height and her size. Sorry folks, I am not impressed. She never has that polished, classy look. Drop the belts and sweaters, and choose more tailored classy clothes. She lacks class

Jennifer on

Okay guys seriously. The President is considered a public servant just like teachers, police, and fire fighters he gets paid using taxpayers dollars. I admit that he gets paid a whole lot more than any other public servant that I know but how he chooses to spend his money is his business. It’s all a part of living in this great country of ours as the Declaration of Independance states, “…That they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights,that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

pam on

LC.. your are ignorant. It is common knowledge government does NOT pay for personal items for Obama family. You need to pull your head out from under the rock.

Melany Terranova on

I’d rather leave the freedom to buy whatever as she can afford to or is entitled to and focus on Congress/both parties to work on behalf the American people…the unemployed, the middle class and health insurance costs. Somehow we can get all tangled up in frivolous conversations like this but not demand more from our elected

Kathy on

Barack Obama’s new worth is 5 million, mostly from book royalties. I think she can afford to buy a few pins.

Lisa Bush on

LC and NG, you all are jealous!

april on

Gigi, Mrs. Reagan was ridiculed for the dresses she wore along with Mrs. Kennedy and Mrs. Lincoln…but Mrs. Reagan and Mrs. Kennedy gave back to the community on a daily basis..

steph on

Don’t care for her so I don’t care. But just so you kmow most of the cloths are donated so the designer gets the props .

babs on

The president makes an annual salary of $400,000 plus various expenses. This amount is comparable and in some cases lower than other political offices – governors, mayors, etc. Like many of the other posters here have commented the First Family – like all the other First Families – pay for clothing, food, school – with that salary and other income. To the commenters who say she has no style or poor style, I disagree. I think she looks beautiful. Her style is easy, simple and real. She looks like confident woman and I say we need more of that in this world!

Jennifer on

I mean if she wants to buy a $400 dollar pin okay…me I’d be happy with a cup of coffee from Circle K! LOL…To each his own I suppose.

Theresa on

The woman could be wearing a black Hefty garbage sack and you would still say “see that’s where the taxpayers dollars go!” You are an idiot. STFU Hater.

Polly on

As usual she looks ridiculous; nothing like a First Lady should. She always looks like a Gap ad. Nothing attractive about her, she needs a stylist!!

Betty on

If the President walked on water, the republicans would say it was because he could not swim. They just hate him and his family and resent every thing he does.

Maricia on

Mrs. Obama is a nice size. She has the frame of an African American woman. How do you know she doesn’t give money to the shelters, etc. She had clothing before she got to the White House. The pieces in the article are not diamonds and/or other stones. Stop the madness.

They have not had nearly the events at the White House that other’s have had. They have not taken nearly as many vacations as others either. She has the same number of people working for her as all the previous first ladies. What is the problem? I know–and so do you.

Jon on

Whatever! Sorry to hear a girl fell while running a race, but I’m glad she was able to finish it, and will be ok, sorry her Coach has Lou Gehrig’s Disease and may not coach next year? But, I’m glad her team won!

Maricia on

She looks lovely, who wears suits?

Nancy on

I love her! She’s so stylish and sophisticated and very nice.

JessicaR on

I’m sure designers ‘donate’ clothes to her all the time but remember how Sarah Palin’s wardrobe was scrutinized during the Presidential race…turn about is fair play.

Jon on

I like Justin Bieber’s new Mustache!

Maricia on

Remember it was John McCains camp that talked about Sarah Palins wardrobe.

Brooke on

Can we talk about the actual pieces and not about the Obamas? If I were Alexis Bittar, I’d be pissed that I donated all these pieces to Mrs. Obama to get some media exposure and all people cared about was arguing about politics. I think the pieces are lovely, but I hate pins. Perhaps she has a nice (and more affordable) line of earrings!

steph on

they don’t purchase the cloths. and why is this so important. sure as heck doesn’t help get jobs now does it?

Edie on


Jen DC on

They were millionaires before they got to the WH. Ever hear of the two best-selling books he authored – before the WH? Or the fact that – as mentioned previously – MO was a hospital administrator and prior to that a litigator in Chicago? Personal expenses of the President and his family are exactly that: PERSONAL.

If you have complaints about his politics, that’s fine. But don’t tell useless, baseless, easily repudiated lies.

Theresa on

Or as Sarah would say, “refudiated”

Alicia on

The First Lady is great I do not care what anyone says,she is an awesome mom,wonderful wife and an excellent role model for all women if she ever wrote a book I would buy it.

Leighton on

Can we please remember how much money Sarah Palin spent on clothes, and that was just during the election. Thank you. Besides, these were probably gifts – designers do that all the time. Celebrities never pay for their stuff.

Nicky on

– LC on December 3rd, 2010

OMG! What a foolish comment to make…Idiot.

Lizzie on

Whatsup with that “do”? Not becoming at all!!!

Shelby on

The clothes of the President and First Lady have never been paid for my the taxpayers. President Obama makes around 400,000 a year and they have money from her successful career in Chicago as well as royalties from his books. They’re millionaires. She doesn’t have 20 assistants, only a few and they are federal workers that pay taxes too. The government is one of the biggest employers in this country, they pay taxes and your taxes pay them. All First Ladies and Presidents have the same amount of staff, Republican or Democrat.

Shelby on

And its completely sad that this thread shows the lack of respect each other have for differing opinions. A lot of amazing things in this country were made on compromises! Including the government itself. Democrats are socialists, Republicans greedy racists? No, were humans with differing opinions, entitled to them and in the end are trying to better this country. It’s time for respect to be a top priority for Americans too.

Jennifer C on

people are so shallow and look for negativity in EVERY SINGLE SITUATION. Taxpayer dollars? are you serious? Just admit that we have a very fashionable and ‘fly’ 1st Lady.

L on

racist much?

Sharon on

First of all, Alexis Bittar is a man. LC, she made several hundred thousand a year BEFORE they came to DC. He also made millions on book sales. The general ignorance of some of the American public astounds me. Please read before commenting, you will look like less of a buffoon. And to the commenter who said she needs to “loose” weight, its lose – her weight is less of a problem than your english issue.

kiki on

What I find remarkable about this photo is looking at her expresion and then the children around her – they do not look happy. Besides I still think she looks like a man ape.

GracieAnne on

Arksna ..you are about as small as Sarah Palin. that rumor about the 800 rooms was a BIG LIE. please don’t show your ignorant by repeating something you evidently have no knowledge of. Who did he have to put in 800 rooms. This is the president of the United States whether he is purple, brown or blue. He deserves the same protection and security as the rest of the presidents (including so called Bush) when he is in or out of the country. Why is there a problem when he travels and uses the same services all other before him has? You people need to go volunteer at a nursing home somewhere. It doesn’t matter if he had a 1,800.00 whatever amount he spent will not do NOTHING to solve the unemployment, or deficit facing the country. In case you and other didn’t all the people in the congress/senate travel outside the country at YOUR tax dollar expense. And Iam sure you don’t make enough to pay for a hamburger he eats neverless a trip to downtown D.C. Tell your family members that are getting government assistance to find a job and get off YOUR tax dollars.

Barb on

Honestly, I am a Republican and very rarely vote Democrat. That being said, why is it that people are so vicious against others? I mean-seriously. What is wrong with people who immediately attack others, such as this? Where did any kind of respect for the presidency (from Republicans and Democrats go?) When a Republican is office, people are horrible, and when a Democrat is in the office, people also say horrible, undeserved things. I say if you can’t say something nice, don’t bother!

IMO, she looks lovely and graceful.

hailey on

She’s not Sarah Palin, where she had to use donor’s funds to dress up.

She is a Harvard Grad. Have you seen how much they earn? And anyway, these outfits aren’t that expensive. It’s suitable for her income bracket. By the way, she was an attorney, and a hospital administrator. And Barack made millions writing books.

And please stop the nonsense lies about using tax payers money.. you’re just jealous she has style.

hailey on

i like that she’s an American first lady who puts on wonderful pieces by contemporary American designers and companies. She’s a poster child for the new, young and revitalized America, and I salute that.

I wouldn’t have known of Talbots, J Crew, Jason Wu, if not for this woman. :)

Abby on

Seriously? Why do people care?

filmwolf on

*Yawn* Another fluff piece about “The Royal Family”. It’s going to be quite a shock when the Obamas leave the White House and so many magazine and tabloid reporters have to go back to writing REAL articles

Moran on

Let’s just say she is not a attractive woman !, so she has to try really hard !. Anything she wears just looks so bad!. She is very awkward looking and so she tries.

mel on

Remember he a has a best selling book!!! Dummies they have money of their own!!!!

sara on

why do i have to curse at ya’ll i mean the woman has her own account,and she was something even before being the first lady and ya’ll think she can’t afford it,and ya the gorvenement pays for all the bodyguards and everything the woman is able to afford herself something.now all of u saying that this is where ya’ll tax money go don’t ya’ll get it back at the beginning of each year..bunch of haters..

SusiQ on

how come “JON” can get two off-topic entries published and I couldn’t get one on-topic? Could it be because he’s your shill?

LeoR on

Smart choices by the First Lady. The woman really gets how to mix thing up while remaining elegant and approachable! I must say that her years of experience as a local community organizer is serving her mighty well. She genuinely exudes affection. When last have we seen this in a First Lady? We are lucky – the world envies us on this one!!!

Joyce on

…..Sound the alarm, The Obama’s are using are tax dollars just to breathe……Give them a break, they both work and they both earn a paycheck!

maureen1955 on

I just can’t believer that the media really thinks she is stylish – she needs TLC’s Stacy and Clinton to pay her a visit!!!

Patricia on

Since the President is a government employee, he is covered by the very stringent government anti-bribery laws and the Obamas can not accept gifts valued over a de minimus amount except in very regulated circumstances. Mrs Obama could not accept as a gift even the most inexpensive piece sold by this designer. The First Lady has a ceremonial role and regularly attends functions representing the United States, and does not receive a clothing allowance to cover the costs of the clothes that she has to buy to wear at all of those events (unlike the infamous $250,000 spent by the Republican Party on Palin’s wardrobe during the Presidential campaign). Our tax dollars do not go to buy her wardrobe; her husband’s income and their savings do. I applaud that she wears clothes that ordinary people can afford to wear, even if she does wear designer clothes when the occasion calls for it.

Nanine Alexander on

The Obamas are financially well-off not chiefly because of their salaries or prudence, but the president’s first two books, sold extremely well when he was an Illinois lawmaker and went into $million range as he became better known across the country. When I was in Argentina just after his election, I was reading his book about growing up. People would come up to me in coffee shops and ask me about him and where they could get the book. He’s got a global fan base and enough money to dress himself and his three ladies extremely well.

T on

I went back and looked over her wardrobe before I commented and I was correct with my first thought. She dresses very unflattering for her size and shape. When her hair is pulled back like above she looks like a man. She is not an attractive woman at all.

Diane Pearce Votes for Obama Again on

All I know is that I am eployed at a large Pharmaceutical company in Clayton NC and I support Barack Obama with all my heart. I would love for all my friends and colleagues to re-elect Obama in 2012!! I LOVE YOU OBAMA

acne treatment on

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