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Michelle Obama Cuts the Ribbon at the Met Costume Institute’s New Anna Wintour Costume Center


Photographed by Mimi Ritzen Crawford

“Those of us blessed with the opportunity to succeed have an obligation to reach back and take others along with us,” said First Lady Michelle Obama this morning before cutting the ribbon at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute’s new Anna Wintour Costume Center, calling the Vogue Editor in Chief an “inspiration multiplier.” Aerin Lauder, chair and sponsor of tonight’s gala to celebrate the opening of the Center’s inaugural show, “Charles James: Beyond Fashion,” remarked, “There is no one more deserving of this honor.”

It was a sentiment that echoed around the Temple of Dendur, where fashion’s top designers, both established and new-generation—from Oscar de la Renta (one of the event’s cochairs), to Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez of Proenza Schouler, to Alexander Wang—gathered for the ceremony. Really it was difficult to think of a designer who wasn’t there.

“It’s just beyond to beyond what she brings to the world and to New York,” said Donna Karan of Wintour. “She’s such a dedicated and devoted woman,” Marc Jacobs agreed. J.Crew’s Jenna Lyons spoke of the work Wintour does to “preserve and protect” the fashion industry, much of which is behind the scenes. “Anna is so private about it. She deserves to be recognized.”

While honoring Wintour, Mrs. Obama also highlighted the importance of the Costume Institute, and its new Lizzie and Jonathan Tisch Gallery and Carl and Iris Barrel Apfel Gallery, in the realm of education and the inspiration it provides young people; joking, those carefully constructed James dresses might make them “pay closer attention in geometry this semester.” 

By Florence Kane on Vogue.com