Oscar de la Renta still butthurt about Michelle Obama not wearing his clothes

When Pres. Obama first came into office in 2009, it only took a few months for Michelle Obama to become the Obama with the highest approval ratings. She quickly won people over and it seemed like women were clamoring for Michelle’s style overnight. Michelle was pretty smart about how she presented herself, especially in those first years when she made a point to mix high and low fashion, wearing simple mass-market pieces from J.Crew with a beautifully made couture piece from an up-and-coming designer like Jason Wu (well, Wu was up-and-coming at the time, but with Mobama’s influence, he’s HUGE now).

But it wasn’t all sunshine for Michelle as far as her style went. Some established designers grumbled about her insistence on wearing less expensive mass-market pieces and the way that she never wore any of the “major” labels that First Ladies usually wear: Oscar de la Renta, Vera Wang, Donna Karan, etc. Oscar de la Renta went full-on bitch when he commented about Michelle in 2009, saying: “I don’t object to the fact that Mrs. Obama is wearing J. Crew to whatever because the diversity of America is what makes this country great. But there are a lot of great designers out there. I think it’s wrong to go in one direction only… You don’t…go to Buckingham Palace in a sweater!” Some thought that Oscar’s was butthurt because First Ladies traditionally choose his conservative gowns and suits for their big occasions. Some thought he was just a crank. Well, Oscar still has crap to say about Michelle, and you’d think he would just shut up. Seriously. Why is he still commenting about this stuff four years later? Perhaps he had already begun to work on Ann Romney’s inaugural ball gown…?

Fashion designer Oscar de la Renta has been a favorite of many U.S. first ladies, including Betty Ford, Nancy Reagan, Laura Bush and Hillary Clinton. But one name is still missing from his list: Michelle Obama.

De la Renta says he is not worried about not having Obama on his list of celebrity clients because for him what matters is dressing everyday women.

De la Renta says that “an anonymous woman on the street is the woman who influences fashion today, not a movie star or a first lady.”

Obama has appeared on many best-dressed lists and De la Renta has been among the few who have criticized her choices, specifically her decision to wear a sweater when she met Queen Elizabeth II in 2009. The designer said that he had said nice things and made the comment to avoid “sounding like a package of sugar.”

“It is a relation that began poorly and I think it will end the same way,” the designer said Friday during a Mexico City fashion gala.

[From the NY Daily News]

O RLY? Who knew Oscar de la Renta was such a gigantic baby? That is such a childish argument to make – “Oh, you don’t want to wear my clothes? FINE, you’re not important anyway. You don’t influence anything!! REAL women influence fashion, not you! You’re just a big meanie. Grumble grumble.” As for “It is a relation that began poorly and I think it will end the same way”… bitch, do you really think Michelle Obama is wringing her hands over this? Oscar de la Renta is waging a one-sided war and I feel like Michelle Obama just doesn’t have any f—ks to give to him. What is it with crotchety old designers bitching about Mobama these days? Why can’t we let FLOTUS do her own thing?

Photos courtesy of WENN and the White House’s Flickr page.

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

43 Responses to “Oscar de la Renta still butthurt about Michelle Obama not wearing his clothes”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. Hannah says:

    Did you know that De La Renta and his wife are tight with Henry Kissinger? Kissinger even dedicated his last book (On China) to them. So maybe his opinion of the O’s isn’t wholly based on FLOTUS’ fashion choices.

  2. lisa says:

    michelle looks awful a lot of the time. unless you are an up and coming designer, i dont know if you need her or should even want her to wear your junk.

  3. Cuchulain says:

    I ADORE Oscar de la Renta!!! He is such a classy man and his masterpieces are so breathtakingly beautiful and feminine. I am surprised that The First Lady doesn’t own his attire.

    • acp says:

      Don’t be surprised FLOTUS doesn’t wear Oscar De La Renta – he is such a HYPOCRITE, along with many in the fashion world. Do they really want to dress the First Lady, and women of colour? Then why don’t they send more models of colour down their catwalks? Why don’t they use more women of colour in their advertising campaigns? Why is it overwhelmingly attractive white women used in Oscar de la Renta’s shows (got to style.com to count the 3 TOTAL Black models he used in his last 3 shows of over 150 models.

      There is recent (recurring) debate about the casting of models in the Spring and Fall fashion shows. 2 famous casting directors called out many designers for hiring 1 or 0 Black/African-American models to walk their runways. Chanel Iman just said last week that she still faces racism. So why would Michelle Obama, a Black female want to wear a designer who casts 1 Black model out of 55 models every show? Is he the only desginer in town? No, there are other amazing, fresh designers out there that want to dress ALL women, women of colour, old, young, heavy-set, thin, etc.
      Maybe if Oscar de la Renta and his ilk looked inhouse and acknowledged the message he (and many designers) seem to be sending, he wouldn’t have to worry about the First Lady not carrying any of his clothes in her closet. FLOTUS is a very sharp, astute woman. She is certainly sending a message to the fashion world.

      • Eli says:

        Oh, so now we are going to make this about race and pull out the race card? Old and tiresome!

      • Suze says:

        Maybe she just doesn’t like his designs?

      • NerdMomma says:

        I don’t think it’s “pulling out the race card” to make a very valid point. And this is a very valid point.

      • Claudia says:

        Very well said, acp.

        Eli, I don’t know if you’re an ethnic minority– but my own experience growing up and seeing only white barbie dolls and white people as/on the cover of everything (advertisements, magazines, models, etc.) definitely affected me. I developed a little bit of a complex with my skin color, it was very clear to me that being fair-skinned was the most desirable and acceptable thing to be, per the media. This isn’t just “playing the race card” (and it’s sad how any time anyone wants to discuss racial inequalities there’s always someone around to undervalue the legitimacy of the argument by mindlessly uttering that oft-repeated, unoriginal phrase).

      • Jo 'Mama' Besser says:

        No doubt there are some who rely on racism to get away with misdeeds, but lately the number of instances I encounter in which minorities are definitively told that they’re categorically wrong by people who really don’t experience that specific kind of discrimination far outweighs the amount of ‘card pulling’ that I’ve seen and the accusation is patronizing.

        I don’t spend my days engrossed in fuming over how ‘The Man’ is doing me wrong and I’m always happy about positive changes in the landscape, make no mistake. But if issues of race privilege are going to come up, why lie and say I’m on its receiving end? It’s so different on the ‘outside’ in a way that can’t be intellectualized or noticed fully by someone not in that location. Is it that person’s fault? Heck no. Still…

        I’m not saying that Michelle Obama specifically chose not to wear Oscar because he’s indifferent to women of colour but if we’re on the topic, it’s not as if he’s not. She’s turning an eye towards new blood that has something to say to her sensibilities and is less narrow in its makeup and view and what the old world has not realized that simply existing isn’t enough to grab a lot of clients, especially clients who are–at best–an afterthought in present and an overlooked disbelief or figure of derision in history.

        All told, I think one of more constructive ways to handle these conversations when they go there is not to give the minorities in question the impression that in the discussion about race, they’re always wrong and argumentative and being regressive; that kind of starting point doesn’t tend to result in the most…compassionate of discussions.

        And tuck your nuts back in, Oscar.

    • booboocita says:

      From the beginning, the First Lady chose newer, less-established designers to dress herself: Jason Wu, Thakoon Panichgul, Tracy Reese and Doo-Ri. It’s a wonderful way to give new designers a leg up and support American fashion. On top of that, she’s always been more funky and cutting-edge than previous First Ladies. Oscar de la Renta, as a long-established designer whose fashion sensibility is decidedly conservative, is neither new nor funky. It’d be more surprising if she did wear his clothes.

      • videli says:

        Classy comment, that kind of put my snark to rest. Well not entirely: I find Oscar de la Renta designs a pure borefest, as lively and challenging as a well-preserved mummy.

      • divine3021 says:

        Cosign! My sentiments exactly….

      • MaiGirl says:

        Seriously! While I find some of his designs lovely and classic, I also find some of them stodgy and old-fashioned. Michelle is neither stodgy, nor old-fashioned. It makes no sense that Nancy Reagan and Michelle Obama would have the same taste, and it isn’t a problem in any way that they didn’t. Oscar’s butt-hurtness smacks of entitlement. He had his day in the sun, he is still very successful, so he needs to use some of his old-lady print fabric to stuff in his over-used cry-hole.

  4. lem says:

    he’s not worried about dressing “everyday women” b/c everyday women can’t afford his crap! i get if he feels slighted b/c he wants to dress her but she’s not interested, but this is NOT the way to go about handling that situation.

  5. poppy says:

    i think back in the day he ran ball skirts with cashmere sweaters?
    everyday women don’t wear sweaters?
    better call the wambulance. he’s like, prison sex butt hurt.

  6. Bacon! says:

    I can totally see Michelle reading an article about this and rolling her eyes the way she did at John Boehner – not a single fck is given about this by my girl Mich.

    Get over yourself, Oscar – take your butthurt somewhere else.

  7. Helvetica says:

    He does sound upset but there is absolutely no denying his designs are spectacular.

    Michelle’s fashion choices are hit or miss with me. I don’t think she overall knows how to dress for her body. Or rather, her body shape is hard to dress.

    I always laugh at the comparisons people make between her and Jackie O. To me, there is no comparison. There has never, nor will there ever, be a lady who can rock the simple/classic air that Jackie did. She is/was in a class all of her own.

    Now, Mr. O, on the other hand. That is a man who can wear anything and look so relaxed/sexy/handsome all the time. He has the perfect build for clothes/fashion and he is just one of those men who looks good in nearly everything he wears, whether it’s casual or dressed to the 9s.

  8. Tiffany says:

    Oscar also fails to realize is that The Obamas do not have the money that previous POTUS have. Those FLOTUS had lots of money to play around with and the economy was a little better than it has been for the last decade. Mrs. Obama played it smart. If she did not care about that, it will leave a bad taste it our mouths.

    • Garvels says:

      The Obama’s are worth 8 to 10 million dollars…..how expensive are Oscars clothes?

      • duchess of hazard says:

        A couture dress (especially with established designers) can run from 10-20K. At least with Wu, when he was up and coming his stuff was cheaper (along with Tracy Reece, etc), even though I think depending on the event, the First Lady can get them for free (for instance, Jason Wu didn’t get paid for the dress MO wore to the first Inaugural Ball in 2008- it got to go in the archives of some museum).

  9. andrea says:

    Sorry, did he just say he dresses everyday, “anonymous” women? Really? Anyone here own anything by dear old Oscar? I bet Gwyneth Paltrow and he get along very well.

  10. Reece says:

    I’m not going to comment on FLOTUS, let’s talk about Oscar…
    “Crotchety old designers” Is exactly what I think of when I think of the Oscar de la Rentas of the world. He doesn’t design for “an anonymous woman on the street”. He designs for old, moneyed housewives on Long Island and Connecticut and movie stars who put out that persona. “An anonymous woman on the street” can’t afford his clothes.
    Sit down old man and keep milking your niche.

  11. Sweet Dee says:

    Oh sure, Oscar. TONS of anonymous, everyday women wear your flouncy feminine crap. Speaking as an every day [independent] woman with a self-supporting job, I can admire the clothes but I have waayyyyyy better things to spend my hard-earned money on. Let’s be real, he wouldn’t know an “everyday woman” if one smacked him in the face. I’m sure a few would like to.

  12. moja31 says:

    Oh yes, all those ordinary women wearing Oscar De la Renta, LOL. Dude needs to get a grip. She didn’t wear his stuff because she didn’t want to look like your typical stepford flotus (who can blame her?), he threw a fit about it, and has been having a full on tantrum ever since. Folks who get too used to their position with the power brokers don’t handle it well when new kids come to town and don’t bow down to them. Oscar can go suck on a lemon. Thank God Michelle didn’t let him dress her up in the godawful dowdy crap he’s dressed previous first ladies in.

  13. judyjudy says:

    I am only responding to this post because it is an excuse to use the term FLOTUS.

  14. Kelly says:

    I love her style, but I HATE her bangs. She has such a powerful face and does not need them nor does she look good in them. No.

  15. lucy2 says:

    I love most of Oscar’s red carpet designs, but that everyday women line is laughable.
    Why does he keep whining about this? How about we let people wear what they want, including FLOTUS?

  16. Jo 'Mama' Besser says:

    If he dresses ‘everyday’ women then Michelle Obama isn’t the woman for him by his own admission. He doesn’t know whether he’s coming or going, but he’s clearly uninterested in letting anyone else have a chance. Dress someone else, for the love of Pete! She doesn’t owe him anything and the man’s not going out of business. She’s going to wear what she wants because that’s how it goes and it’s not criminal.

  17. duchess of hazard says:

    I don’t know man, de la Renta spoke about MO like a dog back in 2008. She was working towards wearing established American designers. After de la Renta threw his strop, MO wore Tom Ford (who I think, respects her body shape, he can design for anyone. Oh, wow, Tom Ford) about two weeks later.

    After how he spoke about her, I don’t blame her for avoiding him like the plague. If Galliano takes over from de la Renta on the other hand, I’ll change my tune.

  18. silly you says:

    he’s a baby. he’s just pissed that MO is interested in newer, relatively unkown designers as well as established ones. basically, she’s really into fashion, not just labels.