Last week it was reported that just as First Lady Michelle "Antoinette" Obama was returning from her partially-taxpayer-funded vacation to Spain, her staff was contacting a British fashion designer about commissioning a coat for the First Lady.
Of course, this isn't the first time Mrs. Obama has used White House staff to recruit designers for her wardrobe. Last year, then-White House social secretary Desiree Rogers, made a much-publicized trip to New York's Fashion Week, claiming she was on a research trip to identify up and coming designers for the First Lady to promote. Her trip, which included a lunch at the famed Four Seasons restaurant hosted and paid for by a prominent interior designer, was largely paid for by taxpayers.
Now Rogers is out, pushed over the beating the Obamas took for their shoddy social events and the even shoddier security at them, but she landed on her feet. Last week Rogers was announced as the new CEO of the Johnson Publishing, the publisher of Ebony and Jet magazines.
But White House sources say that Rogers, among other friends, maintains contact with a number of fashion designers and "people in the arts" for the First Lady.
"She has a network of people who look out for her for clothes and arts and crafts to promote," says a White House source. "Just because Desiree isn't here, doesn't mean she isn't helping us where she can."