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Want Michelle Obama's J.Crew Belt or Malia's Coat From the Inauguration? Too Bad.

J.Crew's ultra-stylish creative director Jenna Lyons appeared on the Today show yesterday to discuss the looks worn by Michelle and Malia Obama at last weekend's inauguration—and her interview, like all things Lyons-related, is certainly worth watching. The best tidbits from the clip?

  • The Obamas don't receive special treatment from the brand—they buy everything themselves, just as we would. The problem with this, of course, is that when normal folks want to pick up an Obama-worn piece, it's usually long gone from J.Crew's stores. "Obviously there are people who want to have a taste, a part of what she's wearing," Lyons says of the FLOTUS, "But most often, she's purchased it in previous seasons or has pulled it out of her closet...and it's not available."
  • Unlike designers like Jason Wu and Thakoon, who are asked to submit custom designs for MObama in advance of special events and thus know that their pieces might be worn, the J.Crew team never knows if or when their wares will be chosen by one of the Obamas. Of Michelle's J.Crew belt, gloves and shoes and Malia's coat, Lyons said that she "found out that morning...watching TV just like the rest of the world."
  • Rather than rolling out extra inventory of clothing and accessories worn by the Obamas—and thus capitalizing on their instant popularity—J.Crew discontinues certain items or colorways "out of respect for the First Family." For instance, the purple double-cloth lady day coat Malia chose on Monday has been a J.Crew classic for years, so you'll still be able to get your hands on one (see here for proof)—just not in the "fresh plum" shade Malia wore.
  • The embellished belt the First Lady wore over her Thom Browne coat wasn't a belt. "[It] was actually a sash—she fashioned it into a belt," Lyons explains. "We won't rerun that. She did her own thing to that, and out of respect, we'll let her have that moment."

Watch Lyons' entire interview below (right after a one-on-on with Jason Wu, the designer of two MObama-worn inaugural gowns). Do you agree with J.Crew's decision to retire the Obamas' inauguration ensembles?

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