Michelle Obama has the power to catapult a designer from a world of under-the-radar red carpet dressing into the global fashion spotlight, which is exactly what happened to Naeem Khan this week. America's First Lady stepped out in a coordinating embellished white shift dress + coat ensemble by the Indian designer for the National Prayer Service at the Washington National Cathedral following the previous night's inaugural ball - and suddenly his name is on everyone's lips.
It was Naeem Khan's father and grandfather who first inspired him to pursue a career in fashion, both well known in India for dressing the royal families, he was witness to their creative process and rich handwork that took place in their workshops whilst Khan was growing up. Then as a teenager Khan moved to America and worked as an apprentice for Halston, where he developed his design skills, learnt to pattern cut and cultivated his own draping technique (a signature of the forty-plus-year-old New York based brand).
Michelle Obama in Naeem Khan for the 33rd Annual Kennedy Center Honors, December 2010
Then in 2003, Naeem Khan launched his own label, was quickly snapped up the likes of Harrods and Bergdorf Goodman, and now previews his collections each season at New York fashion week. But that's not all, Khan has also acquired a rather fabulous Hollywood fan base, which in recent months has seen his designs appear on everyone from Emily Blunt and Katy Perry to his biggest fan, Michelle Obama. And boy has FLOTUS chosen some incredibly high profile events to step out in Khan's creations, from intricately beaded gowns to snazzy printed numbers she's worn for various global state dinners.
Fit for The Oscars: who will step out in a Naeem Khan SS13 look next?
But along with the beautiful beading (feast your eyes on Nicole Richie's Golden Globes dress in the gallery above) and drapery (queue actress Stacy Keibler's neck plunging dress), Khan's collections also feature a host of super wearable cocktail style dresses as favourited by Zooey Deschanel, Kelly Rowland and Emily Blunt. There's something for everyone (Hollywood bound) in Naeem Khan's current offering, and if his success so far is anything to go by we're hedging our bets on a few red carpet hits at this year's Oscar Awards in March. Watch this space...