During her trip to South Africa in 2011, Michelle Obama kept her traditional clothing cuts as First Lady—attending meetings in knee-length dresses paired with a bolero, wide-legged trousers and structured jackets—but she also spiced them up with fun tribal patterns and bright colors. When she arrived in Pretoria, the First Lady stepped off the plane wearing a jacket by Nigerian designer Duro Olowu, and she also wore a top by the designer while showing off her push-up skills with, a then 79-year-old, Archbishop Desmond Tutu (does it get any cooler than that?).
Olowu’s structured pieces are the perfect fit for Mrs. Obama’s long, lean physique, however, on her second trip to the continent we’re hoping the First Lady will add a few more African designers to her wardrobe. With a packed schedule of meetings, appearances and historical site visits, it may be difficult for her to swing by shops in Cape Town or visit a boutique in Dar es Saalam, but if we could style Michelle Obama in looks from Africa’s hottest fashion houses, here are a few designers we would choose: