The new First Ladies of New York City – Chirlane McCray and Chiara de Blasio – took subtle styling hints from Michelle Obama and Kate Middleton when they attended the inauguration of their husband/father, Bill de Blasio, as mayor of New York.
New York-based fashion designer Nanette Lepore dressed the two for the occasion, with McCray sporting the 'Skyscape' coat in a plum color and the 'Wonderland' dress, and de Blasio wearing a velveteen leopard-printed 'Destination' coat and a beige 'Tahmira' dress (both selected from five options proposed by the designer).
Lepore first came in contact with the de Blasio family over a year ago, when she and her husband, Bob Savage, invited the candidate to visit their Garment District office and factory. Together they “discussed the importance of preserving New York’s Garment Center,” as well as city-based manufacturing and craftsmanship. “We’re at the beginning of a new era for our city,” Lepore, who is very involved with the Save the Garment Center initiative, said in a press release, “An era that appreciates and celebrates the New York of diversity and artisanal expertise.”
McCray was equally proud to wear the designer and support locally crafted pieces. "Chiara and I are proud to wear this beautiful clothing today, that was made right here in New York City," she said. "This city needs more creative entrepreneurs like Nanette Lepore who are committed to keeping our city's garment industry thriving."
New York city is reportedly home to over 900 fashion companies, with the industry providing jobs for over 180,000 people. During Bloomberg's tenure in office, the former mayor worked closely with the fashion industry, creating the NYC Fashion Incubator Program with the CFDA — which has produced major designers including Prabal Gurung and Bibhu Mohaparta — and launching the Fashion Manufacturing Initiative to assist companies in obtaining updated infrastructure and equipment.
While the choice to wear Lepore may be de Blasio's subtle nod that he's here to help the fashion industry, only time will tell if he "will be about supporting more industries, and not just a few," as Lepore told WWD. Regardless, one thing's for sure. Gracie Mansion is off to a good-looking start.