From a purely aesthetic point of view, the selection was a wise one. The rich shade was flattering to her skin, and it proudly announced her embrace of a role that is symbolic, grand and historic. But the selection of Toledo to create her swearing-in ensemble also suggested that Obama intends to embrace the fashion industry in a way that most of her predecessors have not.
Toledo is not a well-known designer, although she was briefly creative director at Anne Klein. Her work is not readily available; it is limited to a handful of independent boutiques such as Chicago's Ikram, where Obama has been a regular customer. It is also sold at Barneys New York. And Toledo does not advertise. In short, it takes effort and desire to find her work.