Even though I'm not terribly fashionable myself, I do admit I'm married to a women who keeps People magazine at least as close at hand as The Economist, so this makes me somewhat qualified to cover the global sourcing controversy behind the J. Crew clothing worn by Sasha and Malia at the inauguration and associated festivities. A recent Chicago Tribune article offers up some of the details about how the youngest Whitehouse residents were able to source yet-to-be-released clothing. But what's most interesting to me are some of the comments from J. Crew surrounding the country of origin for the clothing that suggest it's become impossible to locally source many categories of items. To this end, a J. Crew spokesman notes that "we make all of our denim and belts and [swimwear] in California. But nobody in the U.S. makes shoes; no one makes sweaters. There are a few [manufacturers] in Brooklyn, but they couldn't handle our volume." Let's hope that President Obama heeds the message loud and clear that global sourcing is critical for the economy -- and also to keep his lovely daughters fashionable.
- Jason Busch