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Signature Style Helps Michelle Obama Top Forbes Most Powerful Women

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Signature Style Helps Michelle Obama Top Forbes Most Powerful Women

AP

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First Lady Michelle Obama shows off her smarts in great style, earning her the top spot in Forbes' 100 Most Powerful Women ranking.

Obama ousted Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel for the number-one slot and is followed by Kraft CEO Irene Rosenfeld and Oprah, in third place. 

The office of First Lady brings with it a standard degree of power, but Obama has transcended the traditional role with the exceptional intelligence -- she was a lawyer with degrees from Princeton and Harvard -- and singular style she brings to the table. In addition, her reputation for turning lesser-known labels into household names just by wearing them (Jason Wu being the most noteworthy example), has given her a powerful reputation in the fashion community.

Universally acknowledged at this point to be quite the clothing maven, Mrs. Obama's reign in the White House has seen her outfitted in an inaugural gown by then little-known American designer Jason Wu, Lanvin sneakers for community service errands and her favorite J. Crew cardigans and colorful belts. That she has chosen to highlight and support homegrown designers and shop off the rack with the rest of us has been her unique contribution on top of the childhood obesity programs and civic involvement she's effectively championed.

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