She may be out of the White House, but Michelle Obama’s style is as good as ever. Shortly after her exit from Washington, Obama was back in the news for wearing multiple off-the-shoulder tops while vacationing in Italy, reminding the world that her status as a style icon lives beyond her days as First lady. On Monday, Obama celebrated National College Signing Day, posting a photo on Instagram that showed her wearing an all-gray outfit and matching Converse sneakers. The former First Lady was a notable fan of sneakers back in the White House and had quite the collection of the affordable Chuck Taylors, as well as at least one higher-end pair that got her into some trouble, back when the political world was so desperate for controversy that the First Lady’s shoes could become a target.
It’s almost refreshing to recall the mostly forgotten controversy of Michelle Obama wearing a pair of expensive sneakers while volunteering at a food bank in 2009. Obama joined then Second Lady Jill Biden at a food bank in Washington, D.C., wearing a J.Crew cardigan along with a pair of $540 Lanvin sneakers, causing a firestorm of media outlets criticizing her choice in footwear. When asked about the shoes by reporters, Obama reportedly told them, “They’re shoes.”
What would we give to trade a Michelle Obama shoe controversy for the ones we have now, from possible collusion with Russia or to the president talking about yacht parties to a group of 35,000 Boy Scouts. While current First Lady Melania Trump often deals with her own backlash associated with her expensive taste, at least now she knows who to call the next time she reaches for that $51,500 jacket.
This story originally appeared on Vanity Fair.
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