Peng Liyuan Upends Michelle Obama On Vanity Fair’s Best-Dressed List

    While the U.S. first lady was nowhere to be found on this year's guide to the world's chicest trendsetters, Peng Liyuan became one of only a few Chinese first ladies to grace the list.
    Liz FloraAuthor
      Published   in Fashion

    Peng Liyuan smiles during the ceremony in which her husband, President Xi Jinping, was given the key to the city in Mexico City, on June 5, 2013. (AFP)

    When U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama "snubbed" a meeting with Chinese counterpart Peng Liyuan at a summit between the U.S. and Chinese presidents this June, some commenters speculated that Obama was supposedly worried about being eclipsed by Peng's stylish presence. While it can be pretty certain that this is a ridiculous assertion, Vanity Fair’s newly released "International Best-Dressed List" will only provide more fodder for the imaginary Peng-Obama rivalry: while Peng graced the list with her designed-in-China style, Obama, who has made the list before, was nowhere to be found.

    For her inaugural spot on the historically authoritative annual list, Peng joins the likes of Kate Middleton, Beyoncé, Justin Timberlake, Lebron James, and Gisele Bündchen.

    U.S. and Chinese reactions are likely to differ substantially on the news. So far, New York-based fashion blog Fashionista is unhappy with the results, stating that the "biggest" snub of the list "would probably have to be Michelle Obama, who was snubbed last year as well. Especially when you consider some of the men and women who made the list over her, like Chinese first lady Peng Liyuan, and fashion blogger Hallie Swanson (presumably thanks to Vanity Fair’s decision to open up this year’s list to readers)."

    Meanwhile, on the Chinese side, there hasn’t been much reaction on Weibo (yet), but user @pookylee noted that another prominent Chinese first lady has made the list: “Interesting, 70 years ago, Song Meiling [Chiang Kai-shek’s wife] was also chosen.”

    What do you think of the results? Sound off in the comments below.

    [Update (8/3/2013): Check out more netizens' reactions here.]

    Discover more
    Daily BriefAnalysis, news, and insights delivered to your inbox.