Obama, 58, has been open about her menopause, saying she has experienced weight gains and adjusted her famously disciplined workout schedule as a result. “There is not a lot of conversation about menopause,” Obama said in an interview this month. “I’m going through it, and I know all of my friends are going through it. And the information is sparse.” When speaking to Vogue, Koop does not directly mention this topic, but she alludes to it when she runs through practical considerations. She provides an example: “A wool turtleneck. I don’t care how cute it is, it’s not going to happen.”
Koop has been deeply attuned to the first lady’s style, and what it communicates to the world, since 2009. She first started working with the first lady as an assistant to Obama’s former main stylist. (She can’t take credit for that one-strap Jason Wu inaugural dress.) In 2010, Koop became the primary stylist for Obama and has been since. “It’s been wonderful to watch her become more and more herself to the public,” she says.
And while Obama’s focus, today, is more on comfort, this does not necessarily mean an ounce of glamor was sacrificed. Obama has provided a how-to guide of grounded and functional opulence over the past few weeks. There was the sharply tailored Bottega Veneta set she wore in Philadelphia, plucked from the coveted spring 2023 collection sent out by the brand’s newly appointed creative director Matthieu Blazy. There was also a breezy, sheer Versace tunic thrown over a bra and wide-leg pant, and a delightfully oversized and loose Canadian tuxedo get-up by Ganni.