Style & Beauty

TRACY FEITH: Michelle Obama's Prayer Dress Designer

By now you've read all about Michelle Obama's outfits during last week's inaugural festivities, including her Isabel Toledo number during the swearing-in ceremony and her Jason Wu ball gown. But what about that Japanese-style print dress the First Lady wore at last Wednesday's National Prayer Service? Meet surfer-turned-designer Tracy Feith, a Texas native who currently resides in Montauk, New York.

Feith told WWD that he was unaware the First Lady even had the dress:

"Other designers do more p.r. and give things away. We don't send clothes to people we don't know. I believe she did buy them. I don't think Ikram [Goldman, the store's owner] would just give the dresses to her. We have a really close relationship with the store. "

A sales associate answering the phone Wednesday at his Madison Avenue store in New York reported the style is from the fall 2008 collection and is still in circulation for about $720.

WWD reported that he will soon release a more affordable line via Target on May 17th:

Feith described the collection as eclectic, with shorts, swimsuits, tops, jackets, pants and dresses ranging from $14.99 to $44.99. "There are easy flowing pieces and more fitted numbers," he said. "There are items for the beach and the office. The clothes will be equally at home in the city as the country." Feith cited a cotton maxi floral printed dress as one of his favorites.

The designer's inspiration board for Go features shades called lollypop red, Persian turquoise, seafoam green, neon orange and pink, and Saturn lime. Photos of several generations of beachgoers, bathing beauties of the Fifties and Hawaiian-style painted flowers are part of the collage.

A cropped leather motorcycle jacket lined in a signature Tracy Feith print -- at $139.99, it's the highest-priced item in the line -- was inspired by one the designer made for his eight-year-old son. "We made a little boy's leather jacket like his," Feith said. "It's perfect. It's so soft and washed. I was amazed at how good it turned out when we got the samples back."

As of January 27th, the Tracy Feith's website was still being updated...further evidence that he didn't foresee his sudden fame.


Watch a video segment that Ford Models did on Tracy Feith.