The US first lady Michelle Obama is showing up all over these days: grooving with Jimmy Fallon on late night TV, awarding an Oscar, and soon, gracing the cover of Vogue.
Obama will be on the front of the April edition, in a shot by celebrity photographer Annie Leibovitz. She is leaning on a desk in a sleeveless blue dress by Reed Krakoff, one of her current favourite designers, her smile framed by her much-discussed new bangs. This is her second time appearing on the cover of the high-fashion glossy – the only first lady to have that honour.
The image accompanies an interview with Michelle Obama and her husband – who posed together in the White House’s Red Room – in which she speaks briefly about her look but focuses more on her daughters, Malia, 14, and Sasha, 11, and her husband, whom Michelle said she has tried to teach “patience and calm”.
“Ninety per cent of our conversation is about these girls: What are they doing? And who’s got what practice? And what birthday party is coming up?” she said, explaining their hope that the girls will have as normal a childhood as possible.
Rebutting criticism that the Obamas don’t spend enough time entertaining privately in the White House, she said without hesitation: “Our job is, first and foremost, to make sure our family is whole. You know, we have small kids; they’re growing every day. But I think we were both pretty straightforward when we said, ‘Our number-one priority is making sure that our family is whole’.”
The fashion icon, who designers dream of seeing in their clothes, said she values comfort over style.
“I always say that women should wear whatever makes them feel good about themselves. That’s what I always try to do.”
She added, “I also believe that if you’re comfortable in your clothes, it’s easy to connect with people and make them feel comfortable as well.
“In every interaction that I have with people, I always want to show them my most authentic self.”