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Designers to honor Michelle Obama – and those who dress her

Samantha Critchell

NEW YORK — Michelle Obama keeps feeling the love from the fashion world.

The Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) announced Monday that Mrs. Obama will be honored with a special tribute from the group’s board of directors at its annual awards gala in June.

“We wanted to acknowledge her in a serious way for her commitment to American fashion,” said CFDA president Steven Kolb. A grant also will be established in her name to assist a young fashion company.

Meanwhile, three designers that Mrs. Obama has been known to wear — Narciso Rodriguez, Jason Wu and Thakoon Panichgul — also received CFDA nominations.

Rodriguez joins Marc Jacobs and sisters Laura and Kate Mulleavy of Rodarte as the nominees for womenswear designer of the year, and Wu, Panichgul and Alexander Wang are in the running for the Swarovski Award for emerging talent in women’s fashion.

Jacobs, already one of the industry’s favorite sons, continued to rack up his own accolades as a nominee once again in accessory design and as the winner of the international designer award for his work at Louis Vuitton. (Jacobs splits his time between the Vuitton label, headquartered in Paris, and his own signature collection, which is shown in New York.)

“He’s a pioneer as an American in Europe,” Kolb said.

Anna Sui is to receive the lifetime achievement award named for the late Geoffrey Beene.

The ceremony is moving this year from the New York Public Library to Lincoln Center, which will also become the Fashion Week hub next year. Mrs. Obama will receive an invitation, but Kolb was unsure if she’d attend.

“We’ll do whatever we can to get her here, but the award isn’t about getting her to come,” he said.

(Associated Press)