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Everyday Icon: Michelle Obama and the Power of Style [Kindle Edition]

Kate Betts
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $13.00
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

In many ways the world has never seen a First Lady like Michelle Obama. From the precedent of her race to the singularity of her style, she has been the object of immense fascination. What she says, what she does, and not least, what she wears, is scrutinized around the world.

Writing at the crossroads of politics and fashion, Kate Betts explains why Michelle Obama’s style matters, and how she has helped liberate a generation of women from the false idea that style and substance are mutually exclusive. Following the transformation of Mrs. Obama from her early days on the campaign trail to her first state dinner at the White House, Betts, a longtime fashion journalist and former editor in chief of Harper’s Bazaar, reminds us that while style can be expressed in what you wear, it is inextricably bound up in who you are and what you believe in. In a smart, breezy voice backed by extensive interviews and historical research, Betts shows how Michelle Obama’s  bold confidence and self-possession have made her into an icon and transformed the way women see themselves, their roles, and their own style.

With two hundred color photographs, original designer sketches, and historical images, Everyday Icon is not only a lavish tour of our First Lady’s style statements, but also a fascinating behind-the-scenes account of how she created her image and, more important, what that image says about American style today. Much has been written about Michelle Obama, but Kate Betts places her in a broader cultural and historical context; Everyday Icon is the definitive book on how a working mother of two became an unforgettable, global style icon.

From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Betts, a Time style and design contributor has been an avid observer of first lady Michelle Obama’s style since she first stepped into the limelight. More than a fashion handbook, this book serves as an exploration of the societal and political implications of Mrs. Obama’s style, a pondering of why style matters, and an argument for the notion that “[s]tyle is a part of the content of one’s character.” Betts parses the first lady’s choices of clothing (cardigans and floral dresses rather than navy blue pants suits) as well as her persona, from her warmth and openness to her decision to let cameras capture her hula-hooping on the White House lawn. Betts also takes a fascinating, well-researched look at first ladies throughout history (Mary Todd Lincoln was criticized for her fashionistaesque extravagance) and muses on the ways in which they were a reflection of women’s roles during their years in the White House. With its fine mix of deconstruction and designer interviews, well-sourced research and sumptuous photos, Betts has created a book that is eye and brain candy alike. Photos. (Feb.)
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Lots o’ buzz will accompany this fashion portrait of First Lady Michelle Obama. As befits another buzz-maker, ex–editor in chief of Harper’s Bazaar and now author Betts, the book is filled with hyperbole, adjectives galore, comparisons across the century with other POTUS’ (Presidents of the United States’) wives, and a bit too much of me, myself, and I. Despite the use of superlatives, and even though Betts is no objective third-party observer, she not only takes great care in following Obama’s transition from power wife to power mom but also credibly examines the personal styles of Jackie Kennedy, Hillary Clinton, and Nancy Reagan, to mention three influential presidential companions. What is of prime importance is the recognition that style matters and that the careful expression of personal style—which all three women demonstrated—is the highest manifestation of a woman secure in herself. Great photographs add power to the author’s words; and sidebars, such as notes about couturiers (including Arnold Scaasi) and the 10 commandments of First Lady style, provide some additional intelligence. An easy read that is bound to be asked for by many readers. --Barbara Jacobs

Product Details

  • File Size: 4609 KB
  • Print Length: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Potter Style (May 4, 2011)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004WY3D6S
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #838,572 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful June 13, 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Wonderful Book. A must have for any Obama Fan. Great Gift or for Personal Collection. Beautiful wording and Pages. I so Love Michelle Obama.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars October 5, 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
So well written that I sent a fan letter to the author.
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7 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful book, but not only about Mrs Obama June 16, 2011
By Kybwell
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a nice book with good info and beautiful pictures, however it should be called first lady style. I thought the book would be strictly about her fashion sense and inspiration but that wasn't the case. It is a well written book though- so I can't complain too much. The cover art is a bit misleading to the actual book contents though.
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22 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Informative and gorgeous February 8, 2011
This is a terrifically fun book by Kate Betts, fashion writer. It's loaded with sumptuous photos and informative essays. A great book for reading, the coffee table, and to give as a gift.
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2 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So Much More Than A Coffee Table Book April 11, 2011
A wonderful addition to any library, especially for those interested in fashion and its place in the political arena. Ms Betts illustrates, not only through photographs and drawings, but also with lively prose, Michelle Obama's celebration of fashion and its role in the life of a 21st century First Lady. "Everyday Icon" examines all aspects of Michelle Obama's style, from her high fashion gowns to her most casual clothes. In short, a fabulous book!
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5 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Must Have Coffee Table Book. March 28, 2011
The must have coffee table book for the spring. Kate Betts makes the case for style and substance as worn by Michelle Obama. A fashion book that is readable, enjoyable and entertaining. We loved it.
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12 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A MUST-HAVE BOOK!! February 12, 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful book! For anyone who loves style, fashion, and history this is a must have for your library. Betts's conversational writing style makes this an absorbing read alongside the amazing array of photographs. Betts also includes a fascinating history of past first ladies and their style. Who knew that Mary Todd Lincoln was a bit of a shopaholic!! Betts makes a compelling argument why style matters, and how Michelle Obama has become the most important icon of style for women today.
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14 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE coffee table book of 2011 February 17, 2011
Michelle Obama is so much more than her clothes, we know that she is beautiful, professional, educated and mentored a future President, no one can take that away from her. Therefore, I am happy to fawn over pages and pages of fashion dedicated to the best First Lady that American has ever had.

Every and any woman who aspires to become half the woman that Michelle Obama is, would do well to invest in this book and pass them onto female friends and family.

I can never get too much of this great woman and therefore I can highly recommend it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Disgusting
Who thought this political ploy up???? Really???? If there is one thing Michelle will never be remembered as is a fashioin icon of any kind. This makes me sick... Read more
Published on February 5, 2012 by Dana C. Freeland
1.0 out of 5 stars Look very closely. You can't cover ugly.
She's unattractive, period. She looks like a wookie for god's sake. The media uses lighting and airbrush tricks to make her look glamorous. Read more
Published on January 11, 2012 by Meg
5.0 out of 5 stars Kate Betts Showcases Michelle O as New Jackie O
In the first portable "coffee table" book I have seen on style, Kate Betts presents the First Lady as a fashion game-changer in the league of Jackie Kennedy. Read more
Published on March 17, 2011 by Dana Tierney
5.0 out of 5 stars Michelle
I bought this for a female friend who is, as I am, a big admirer of our president. She loves it. A beautiful book about a beautiful (in all ways) person.
Published on March 8, 2011 by Geoff Russell
5.0 out of 5 stars Fashion Is To Be Debated & Kate Betts Is The Adept Moderator
The first time I noticed Michelle Obama's style was related to her notable use of language on the eve of her husband's senate win. Read more
Published on February 21, 2011 by Jenna Bond
1.0 out of 5 stars More I Con than icon.
Another attempt to cash in on Obama mania. If your idea of style is spending tens of thousands on an ill fitting and sometimes inappropriate wardrobe, then you will like this book.
Published on February 15, 2011 by emess
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More About the Author

Kate Betts is a contributing editor at TIME magazine where she has written about the worlds of style and design since 2003. Betts is also a columnist at The Daily Beast. Previously, Betts was the editor in chief of Harper's Bazaar. She moved to Bazaar from Vogue. Betts was recently named one of the top 10 fashion editors by Forbes, and she has appeared on network and cable television regularly since 1993 including shows such as The Charlie Rose Show, The View, and The Today Show. She has done regular reporting for CNN and was the subject of a Lifetime documentary, Putting Baby to Bed: Wife, Mother, and Editor in Chief, about her experience as the youngest editor ever to take over a fashion magazine. A graduate of Princeton University, she resides in New York with her husband and two children.

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