Retail may suck everywhere but we found one bright spot. One very patriotic bright spot. Designer Catherine Malandrino rereleased her iconic “Flag Dress” just for this year’s election period.
You might remember the dress from when it was first introduced, coincidentally just before 9/11. It went flying off the shelves as people wore the dress, and Malandrino’s other clothes with that print, as a sign of patriotism. (Wearing the flag at that point was very fashionable, for everyone, not just for the lapels of Republican vice presidential candidates.) The timing couldn’t have been better for the French designer whose original intention when introducing it was pretty much to just channel the Americana of the movie “Easy Rider.”
So, here’s our guess. As the country gets even more Obama-crazy, and as an accompaniment to that everyone is going to feels like they should be more patriotic, this dress will fare even better. Dress sales are up 30% now over fall 2001 sales, even though the dress is priced at $475 now, versus $375 then. Another shipment has been ordered.
Celebrities are onto it again—Halle Berry, Julia Roberts, Sharon Stone—everyone had the print in 2001. So far this round, Kelly Ripa wore it on “Regis & Kelly” this week and Forest Whitaker’s wife wore it to an Obama rally.
In fact, Michelle Obama admired the dress in June when she met Malandrino, wearing it, at a fashion industry Obama fund raiser, co-hosted by Vogue editor Anna Wintour, her boyfriend telecom mogul Shelby Bryan, fashion kingmaker Andre Leon Talley, and Calvin Klein. If Michelle does end up with the dress, however, it won’t be because she got it gratis. Malandrino’s rep told us that the designer offered to gift it to her, but it was made clear by Michelle’s camp that she isn’t taking designer freebies.
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