Has J. Crew pushed the boundaries of their symbiotic Obama relationship a little too far? Politico posted an item disclosing a press release the retailer sent to reporters yesterday, advertising the fact that Sasha and Malia Obama have been spotted out and about in J. Crew wares. Specifically, if you must know-and they really, really want you to know!-the Silk Taffeta Trench ($298), black satin ballet flats with contrast trim ($98), girls’ crushed twill trench ($169.99), and girls’ minna printed ballet flats in classic navy ($108). Michelle’s gotten much traction from her public predilection for affordable clothes, but $298 for a growing child’s coat ain’t cheap. This might be great P.R. for J. Crew, but not so much for the Obamas. The larger issue, though, is the Obama girls’ privacy. Earlier this year, Michelle’s office delivered a strong statement against planned Beanie Babies dolls modeled after her daughters, forcing the manufacturers to pull the line ("We believe it is inappropriate to use young, private citizens for marketing purposes" was the exact spokesperson-ese). And a J. Crew rep confirmed to Politico that they hadn’t run this release by the White House. Is this a lesser offense than Beanie Baby-gate , to which Michelle can turn a love-blind eye? Or does this gauche crowing mean that she should start seeing what Banana Republic has to offer?
Photograph of Sasha and Malia Obama in J. Crew coats at their father's inauguration by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.