First Lady Michelle Obama honored design visionaries at a White House luncheon for the recipients of the Smithsonian’s Cooper Hewitt National Design Awards. Among this year’s recipients is designer Narciso Rodriguez, whose dress Obama sported for the event. “What I discover is that these men and women are some of the most daring and creative minds in the world,” she said. “From a designer at Google who’s using data and crowdsourcing to create art that will take your breath away, to the former Hollywood set designers who are now creating some of the most unique buildings and interiors that you’ll ever see. And then there’s this fashion designer whose parents tried to convince him to be a lawyer, or a doctor, or a dentist, or something like that.”
Obama is stepping up her support of fashion this year with not only this event, but the upcoming Fashion Education Workshop being held on October 8 at the White House. It takes place during National Design Week (October 4-14), which is sponsored by Target Corp.
In addition to Rodriguez, Obama recognized a handful of other designers at the awards luncheon. Honors were also awarded to: Ivan Chermayeff and Tom Geisman (the team behind New York-based brand design firm Chermayeff & Geismar &Haviv) for the lifetime achievement award; Witold Rybczynski for Design Mind; Etsy for Corporate & Institutional Achievement; Brooks + Scarpa for Architecture Design; the San Francisco-based studio Office for Communication Design; Aaron Koblin for Interaction Design; Roman and Williams Buildings and Interiors for Interior Design; Andrea Cochran Landscape Architecture for Landscape Architecture; LUNAR for Product Design.