First lady's fashion picks mean big money for retailers

(CBS News) The first ladytook to the stage wearing Jason Wu for Monday night's inaugural balls, once again helping to elevate the young designer. Wu created Michelle Obama's inauguration dress four years ago and this year -- like last time -- he was surprised by her selection and tweeted that he was simply "in shock."

Kate Betts, author of "Michelle Obama and the Power of Style," says, "The headline ... will be'Jason Wu is the new Oscar de la Renta.'"

Betts explained that her unique and bold choices have landed Michelle Obama alongside the likes of Jackie Kennedy as an accessible fashion icon.

"I think that's what most people admire about her is her confidence -- her ability to, you know, where everybody else is wearing a blue shantung pant suit -- she's wearing bright floral prints, big statement jewelry, bright colors."

And according to a New York University study, the first lady's confident choices are contagious. The study found that when Mrs. Obama appears in an outfit even once, it can generate $14 million dollars in value for a company.

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The study pointed to a 2008 television appearance, in which Mrs. Obama talked about wearing J.Crew. The following day, the retailer's stock price increased by 8 percent. By the end of that week, it had risen 25 percent.

On Monday, she wore J.Crew gloves and within hours, they were sold out. And while she donned a higher-end designer outfit --a Thom Brown dress and coat-- during the day, the blend of high and low shows that "she's really a first lady of the people," Betts said.

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