On any given weekend, Brooklyn’s Barclays Center is typically packed with hypebeasts attending concerts like Travis Scott’s carnivalesque Astroworld tour and Ariana Grande’s Sweetener World Tour, or basketball aficionados attending sold out Nets games. But today, nearly 19,000 seats were filled by devoted followers of Oprah Winfrey.
Different brands, ranging from spheres of personal care (Unilever) to cult favorite UK-based luxury (Missoma), contributed to filling some of the thousands of arena seats of those waiting to see Winfrey, who hosted of the Brooklyn leg of her “2020 Vision” tour (and collaboration with WW, which you may know as Weight Watchers, a brand that has seemingly reinvented itself to focus more on “wellness” as a broad topic rather than just weight loss.)
With attendees lining up outside of the venue before the 9 A.M. start time to the day-long conference, which included a “motivational” dance-inspired workshop from Julianne Hough, filling out notebooks with goals (at the request of Winfrey, who would ask participants to turn to particular pages to jot down their visions), and speeches from WW “success stories” as Winfrey called them, many people were really there to see this leg of the tour’s special guest: Michelle Obama.
The moment Obama appeared on stage, the conversation between Winfrey and the former First Lady kicked off with a mention of the gold, thigh-high Balenciaga boots that she wore the last time she sat on stage at the Barclays center, which was when she was promoting her memoir, Becoming, in December 2018. After all, it is New York Fashion Week, and those boots were honestly (to use a term that in any other case would evoke an eye-roll but work perfectly in this instance for the former FLOTUS) a slay.
“Does this feel like déja vu all over again for you? Because you were here wearing those bad Balenciaga gold boots,” Winfrey asked Obama. Of course, Winfrey (and the thousands of attendees) are not the only people to remember Obama’s glittery couture footwear moment that shook the Internet.
It turns out, her husband, former President of the United States Barack Obama, has been begging for the boots to make a return to his wife’s wardrobe. “Yeah, Barack is like, ‘Where are those boots? What’d you do with those boots?'” Obama said. “It’s like, ‘They’re put away honey, just settle down.'”
“When you wear a pair of boots like that,” Winfrey conjectured, “they go to the Michelle museum.”
“That’s right, you don’t walk around the street in that,” Obama replied. “You don’t do anything with those boots, you can barely get on the stage in those.”
The roast session didn’t stop at her mention of the former President’s adoration for his wife’s chic accessories. When asked about dropping their kids off at college and becoming empty nesters for the first time in nearly two decades, the former First Lady said the reality that their youngest daughter, Sasha Obama, would be settling in at a new home away from the family, didn’t hit until they were driving away. It was then—after negotiating with her daughter to whittle down her wardrobe and choose fewer shoes for the dorm while her father was in the corner putting together a lamp—that the former President and First Lady “bawled like babies.”
“You know, Barack gets that ugly, loud cry,” Obama said, before imitating her husband’s emotional reactions. “He did that at Malia’s graduation. Like, we’re sitting there. He had his sunglasses on, and speeches are happening, and we’re all chatting, and we hear…”, she said, continuing the impression of her husband’s cry. ‘We look down and are like, ‘Are you okay?'” she laughed. “He’s going to kill me for telling this. Don’t tell him!”