Isabel Toledo, the Cuban-American fashion designer with an avant-garde flair who created former first lady Michelle Obama’s standout lemongrass-colored sheath dress and matching overcoat for her husband’s 2009 inauguration, has died. She was 59.
Toledo died of breast cancer, her studio said in an email. Further details were not immediately available.
Though she presented her first collection in 1985, Toledo’s work grabbed attention after Obama wore some of her looks at the inauguration, including the lemongrass shift dress in wool and lace.
Toledo arrived in West New York, New Jersey, as a teenager, later attending but not graduating from a fashion college. She met her husband, the fashion illustrator and painter Ruben Toledo, in high school.
She was an independent designer but served briefly as creative director for Anne Klein.
Fashion’s Isabel Toledo, creator for Michelle Obama, dies