It is no surprise that Michelle Obama has mastered the art of multitasking. Even before she became the first lady of the United States, she was working hard as an executive at the University of Chicago, raising a family, and making history.
In February, Obama announced the release of her forthcoming memoir, Becoming, in which she chronicles the story of how she grew up in a brick bungalow on the South Side of Chicago with her parents Fraser and Marian Robinson, attended Princeton University as a first-generation college student, graduated from Harvard Law, met and married Barack Obama, and became the inspirational icon that many look up to today.
“The process of writing this book has been so personally meaningful and illuminating for me,” Obama shared in an Instagram caption of a photo of her memoir’s cover, released via social media on Thursday morning. “As I prepare to share Becoming this fall, I hope you’ll also think about your own story, and trust that it will help you become whoever you aspire to be. Your story is what you have, what you will always have. It is something to own.”
Ahead of the November 13 release of Becoming, Obama promised to share some rare photographs from her book with her 20 million followers on Instagram, and so far the memories she has provided do not disappoint. Photos of the former first lady with her parents, her children, and her husband have appeared on her feed, with lively and emotional captions outlining the memories behind the captured moments. We can expect to read at least one dynamic behind-the-scenes tale about the Obamas’ wedding day in the memoir; according to her Instagram caption for a photo of the big day, the former president started his wedding day with a cold, but by the time the couple walked down the aisle he was cured.
If her 2012 book, American Grown, which tells thoroughly enjoyable tales of the White House vegetable garden, is any indication of the power of Obama’s storytelling skills, Becoming should be an even more comprehensive study of Obama and her family. In addition to illustrating the innumerable ways in which the former first lady made history in her eight years at the White House, Obama will also share details about her relationship to her children, Malia and Sasha Obama, and her family’s life since leaving the White House. Enthusiasts of Obama’s most fashionable moments in the 2000s might also be hoping for at least one chapter with an anecdote that touches on her style transformation through the years.
According to the official website for Becoming, Obama will also hit the road this fall, going on tour to a number of American cities to speak about her book (hopefully with some very special guests in tow). But book tours and Instagram trips down memory lane aside, Obama will of course still be very busy in the meantime. In addition to the impending press tour for Becoming, the Obamas have potentially begun some very important home renovations (adding a pool to their Washington, D.C., home could take up a huge chunk of their time), and officially inked a deal with Netflix to produce several television series and films, in which they “hope to cultivate and curate the talented, inspiring, creative voices who are able to promote greater empathy and understanding between peoples, and help them share their stories with the entire world.” There’s no doubt that Becoming will do the same.
Michelle Obama Has a Long History of Supporting Emerging Fashion Designers, from Teija to Jason Wu
Today, Jason Wu is the creative director of Hugo Boss and his eponymous label, but 8 years ago, the then-26-year-old Taiwanese-Canadian designer had only been running his namesake label for two years when Obama first wore one of his designs—to Barack Obama’s 2008 inauguration, no less. The gown has since ended up in the National Museum of American History, and Wu is now long past his days interning for Narciso Rodriguez, another favorite of Obama’s, having outfitted the former first lady in plenty more looks throughout her time in the white house, up to Donald Trump’s inauguration.
Thakoon Panchigul‘s eponymous label may now once again be on hiatus, but the Thai-American designer got quite the boost when Obama wore a printed dress of his on the night that Barack Obama accepted the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination. “It was like watching a scary movie—wanting to look but not wanting to look,” he said of fitting the former first lady for the occasion. Clearly, the pair worked it out: Obama has been a known admirer of his floral dresses, even—gasp—wearing the same one three times in as many years.
In a move that inspired bloggers to follow her style for the next eight years, Obama wore a teal dress by Maria Pinto (studded with a brooch by Erickson Beamon) to the Democratic National Convention in 2008, paving the way for the designer to develop something of an empire in her home base of Chicago, where, with the help of a wildly successful Kickstarter, she’s launching her latest ready-to-wear foray, M2057.
Three years after the Detroit-born, New York-based designer Tracy Reese called Michelle Obama’s 2009 People magazine cover in her lacy sleeveless dress “the moment we’ve been waiting for,” Obama turned to Reese once again for an equally pink frock at the 2012 Democratic National Convention, making the designer “flattered” and “a little mystified.” Since then, Reese’s dresses have become one of Obama’s go-to’s, as seen here in 2016 at the White House in ‘70s-esque florals.
Long before Sophie Theallet became one of the first designers to take a stance against dressing Melania Trump, the French, New York-based designer was busy organizing welcomely diverse runway shows, which attracted much more of a spotlight once Obama wore a striped dress of hers to unveil a bust of Sojourner Truth in 2008—a look so popular that Theallet recreated it (for a much more affordable $80) five years later, in 2013.
Many designers are taken by surprise when Obama shows up in one of their creations, but the Korean-American designer Doo-Ri Chung worked with Obama herself to alter one of her purple gowns so that it had a belt and more modest slit—alterations that were definitely worth the sacrifice when Obama wore it to a 2011 state dinner for South Korea.
Justin Bieber, Cee Lo Green, and Conan O’Brien were all there when Obama transformed the brand Cushnie et Ochs, which designers Carly Cushnie and Michelle Ochs had already found some niche acclaim for, from a favorite of critics to a profit-turning company with an agenda full of appointments. Since Obama wore a green dress of theirs on-screen of a 2011 White House Christmas special, the brand has since found a home in New York Fashion Week, worked its way into the red carpet looks of Sarah Paulson and Gigi Hadid, and even launched its own activewear line.
Though she blended into the background in cobalt blue, Obama still definitely stood out at the 2016 National Democatic Convention when she wore a silk cap sleeve dress by Christian Siriano, the Annapolis-born designer and Project Runway alum. He may have been planning on dressing Hillary Clinton next, but in the meantime, he’s been working with names like Leslie Jones, whom he stood by after other designers turned away from working with plus sizes—a message Obama would no doubt get behind.
Like Lady Gaga, who once employed him as his stylist, Obama has fallen for Brandon Maxwell, the small-town Texan designer who’s proven himself as adapt at streamlined evening ensembles as Gaga’s picks of more out-there designs. Obama first wore a dress of his on the cover of InStyle last year, and it was clear just a few weeks later that she was hooked: Soon after, she wore an ivory, floor-length number of his to a state dinner for Singapore. “She really is the embodiment of the women that I love and adore and create for,” Maxwell, who also won 2016’s CFDA Swarovski Award, has since said.
Teija Eilola had already been planning to party in honor the five-year anniversary of her eponymous brand Teija this month when Obama brought another cause for celebration: She wore an eye-catching, one-shouldered top by Teija while sampling gelato and otherwise wandering around the small town of Montalcino, Italy with her husband Barack. Before that, Eilola, who trained under Christopher Bailey at Burberry, had no idea Obama owned one of her pieces, but she’s definitely embracing the attention—and already referring to it as her “Michelle Obama moment.”