Michelle Obama Lincoln Bible Inauguration green J.Crew gloves

Michelle Obama completed her Inauguration Day dress-and-coat combo by Isabel Toledo with J.Crew gloves. Photo: Getty Images

Attention young designers: Want to retire early? Get your clothes on Michelle Obama, ASAP!

That's because the first lady is helping labels make a mint every time she flaunts their fashions.

A Harvard Business Review study by NYU professor David Yermack reveals that Mrs. Obama earned designer brands and the stores that sell them $2.7 billion from the 189 public appearances she made between November 2008 and December 2009, according to New York magazine.

Or, to put things in more simple terms, that's $14 million for a single public appearance.

I'm knitting her a hat as we speak!

"The first lady's astonishing influence may be tied to the fact that consumers know she's not paid to wear what she does, whereas they may subconsciously discount models' endorsements as inherently corrupt," explains Yermack, who adds that MIchelle Obama's power isn't affected by her husband's approval rating and that she's especially influential when she's out and about overseas.

While Mrs. O effortlessly boosts the sales of her favorites such as J.Crew, Gap, Saks, and Dillard's, other first-lady fashion icons, like France's Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, have barely made a blip.

"Bruni-Sarkozy, like many first ladies, dresses mainly in one brand: Dior," says Yermack. "Obama mixes couture with items anyone can buy at a mall -- she famously wore J.Crew gloves while holding the Lincoln Bible at the inauguration. Consumers flock to the stores, and even if they don't buy what she wears, they often leave with something else."

Check out which other designers are likely benefiting from the first lady's style choices in the below gallery.


In related news, see Mrs. Obama getting artsy in Harper's Bazaar.

And click here to see some of Mrs. O's famous fashion repeats.