France’s First Lady has officially landed one of the most coveted honors in the fashion industry — a September cover. Brigitte Macron fronts the latest issue of French Elle, posing at the Élysée Palace in an outfit not unlike what she wore when she received Rihanna to talk education: a tailored Dior cream-colored jacket with a white T-shirt and jeans by Saint Laurent. Inside the magazine, the politician's wife opens up about her style and all the attention it’s received with a 10-page fashion spread. And it's amazing.
“I have always put a lot of effort into the way I present myself, just ask my children or students!” she tells French Elle. “I would never leave the house before choosing an outfit and doing my hair — the results may vary, but I cannot do otherwise.”
When asked if the amount of attention her clothing receives bothers her, she replied: “Why not, if it does some good for the French fashion industry. I’m really into fashion, and there’s this fascination the world over around this idea of the French woman.”
That sentiment is clearly reinforced through the photos, which show Macron clad in an Azzedine Alaïa red jacket walking with her husband, and sitting at her desk in a Nicolas Ghesquière for Louis Vuitton red short-sleeved biker-inspired dress, according to Women’s Wear Daily. She counts Alaïa, Ghesquière, Karl Lagerfeld, Olivier Rousteing, and Alexandre Vauthier among her favorite designers. They're all French, naturally.
Macron’s view on fashion is similar to that of former First Lady Michelle Obama who realized very early on that she was able to use her clothing to her advantage. As Vanessa Friedman put it for The New York Times: “If you know everyone is going to see what you wear and judge it, then what you wear becomes fraught with meaning. Certainly Mrs. Obama’s significance as a contemporary role model goes far beyond her image, but no one understood the role of fashion, and the potential uses of that, better than the First Lady.”
And that's why Macron's opinion on fashion is so refreshing. Considering how heavily debated the intersection of fashion and politics has been, and how it's been dubbed sexist for the media to cover female politician's clothing, it's important to have a public female figure who doesn't just understand — but openly discusses — how what we wear sends a message.