Meet Maria Pinto: The Designer Behind Michelle Obama’s Iconic Purple Dress


Do you remember the purple dress Mrs. Obama wore on the night of the notorious fist-bump before the president’s speech claiming the Democratic nomination? Or the red dress she wore to meet the Bushes on their way out of the White House?

Maria Pinto designed both iconic dresses, as well as other creations that Mrs. Obama modeled when she first burst onto the national scene.

Maria Pinto wearing one of her designs

Pinto designed these creations in Chicago, where both women were born and raised. Over the course of one memorable election, both hometown women became stars.

After this meteoric rise, everyone in the fashion world were shocked when Pinto put a “closeout sale” sign in the window of her West Loop boutique and announced that she was folding her fashion business.

Brooke Shields in a M2057 ensemble

Fast-forward a few years, and Ms. Pinto is back with a vengeance after launching her latest-ready-to-wear venture M2057. Her new brand caters to professional women and their busy, multitasking lifes.

Each piece is made from flattering Italian tech fabric, which doesn’t wrinkle, and is machine washable. In other words, her current designs are perfect to travel in.  The clothes easily transform from day-to-night and work for all different lifestyles.

Here’s some questions I recently posed to Ms. Pinto.

What do you do on vacation?

Vacations are either yoga retreats near a gorgeous beach, such a Costa Rica or art treks such as my trip to Marfa, Texas in a few weeks.

Best working outfit

The new Dita tunic and the Jett leather pants with a great belt and killer booties!

Who is your dream client?

Fabulous WOMEN!!!

Who is your role model?

That is a tough one so many, most of all, I would have to say my 100 year old mother, Virginia. She is strong, tenacious, and always gracious. 

What was it like working with Michelle Obama?

The First Lady is lovely to work with, she greatly appreciates all aspects of my design work, beautiful textiles and great fit.

What would you be doing if you were not a designer?

LOL I would be a psychologist

I’m happy to announce that you are all invited to a Pop-Up- Event featuring the latest M2057 designs on Tuesday, October 4 – from 4pm to 7pm, at Firehouse 8, 1648 Pacific, (Between Van Ness and Polk) San Francisco.  Enjoy bubbles + bites with Maria as you shop the collection. 10% of the proceeds will benefit the Susan G. Komen Foundation, which my friend Joanne Horning founded to combat breast cancer.

Respond to    If you can’t make it that night, the San Francisco location will be open from October 4 to 6


Tag along as I share musings on everything from family to business, which will hopefully inspire you and stir the mind. I am happy that you are along for the journey. Here’s to Living Lively!

1 Comment

    September 27, 2016 at 6:36 pm