Election night dress made in Oakland

November 11, 2008 7:23:03 PM PST
The economy may be in trouble, but one local clothing designer is getting a big boost in publicity, because of one of President-Elect Barack Obama's daughters. Ten-year-old Malia Obama wore a dress that was designed in Oakland.

Oakland-based Biscotti has been designing high end dresses and girls clothing for 21 years with about 70 employees. But it was the red dress worn by Malia Obama that has made the company an overnight sensation.

"I started looking at Malia and I said to Bob, my husband, I said is that our dress? Do you think that is our dress?" said Biscotti's owner and design director Bernadette Reiss.

The dress was purchased at Nordstrom in Chicago, and it retails for $110.

"Ah, you know it's just one of those dresses that hit the right cord with that age group," said Reiss.

Since then, Biscotti has received numerous calls from people wanting to buy the shaped taffeta dress.

"We got one in particular today from a grandmother who heard about the dress, and she said she had to have that Malia dress for her granddaughter. She only has one granddaughter and that's the dress she wants for her," said Biscotti Marketing director Judy Beall.

Reiss says she'd like to design more dresses for the Obama children.

"At the moment we haven't contacted Michelle's spokeswoman, but that is in our planes to do that and we're hoping to have the honor of designing for those girls," said Reiss.

What Michelle Obama and her two daughters wear is expected to grab the attention of the media and the fashion industry, much the way it was when Jackie Kennedy became first lady.

"I think it's very exciting for the industry and I think the children's wear business in particular, I think seeing these two little girls grow up, we'll see how they're styles change and I think people will have their eyes on that," said Beall.


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