Maria Pinto: Michelle Obama’s fashion designer

May 1, 2010
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Meet Maria Pinto, the woman behind Michelle Obama’s dresses. She is a fashion designer who became famous after the First Lady wore her designs but sadly, according to recent reports, she will close her company. Keep Reading to Find out more, see photos and video.

Maria Pinto

Maria Pinto is the woman behind Michelle Obama’s wardrobe, she is one of the First Lady’s favorite fashion designers and played an important role in the Obama campaign. However, recent reports claim the 51 year-old designer will bring to an end activities of her Lola Black LLC company and close her West Loop boutique. The Chicago native designer is also expected to file for bankruptcy protection later this week. She is convinced that the Maria Pinto name will not dissapear, but will take a hiatus before come back. The fashion designer said ‘the tough economy and changes in the fashion market were to blame for her closing her doors’.

As a biography, Maria Pinto was born in Chicago near Chinatown, 51 years ago. She is the twin daughter of a sanitation worker and a caterer, she and her brother, Silvio have four siblings. She always loved designing clothes, made her own attires when she was on high school and received her first sewing machine at 13. Maria designed her own Prom dress using a pattern, a fitted bodice and a full dress. After she finished High School, worked in the family’s restaurant for years, an Italian restaurant called Sogni Dorati (Golden Dreams). But after her brother – who was the Head Chef – fell ill, the restaurant closed its doors.

At 30, Maria Pinto finally started to work on her dreams. While attending School of the Art Institute of Chicago she learned to combine her love for sculpture and painting with her craft. She once said she considers fashion an extension of sculpture. After she finished the school, majored in fine art with a focus in fashion, moved to New York and became apprentice of fashion designer, Geoffrey Beene. In 1991, after some years working with the fashion icon and stuying his style, she moved back to Chicago and started working on her own desings, her first designs were wraps and scarves, by the way.

In 1996, Maria Pinto was working on her own South Michigan Avenue production center, and her collection combined couture and ready-to-wear lines. A couple of years later, in the spring of 2000, the designer launched a more informal Pinto Studio line. Maria sold her desings to Joan Weinstein, Ultimo, the Oak Street boutique, Barneys and Bergdorf Goodman in New York. Pinto’s accessories always were one of the top sellers in Bergdorf’s catalogs until the designer closed her house in 2002, after 11 year of business. The 51 year-old fashion designer, Maria Pinto created gowns for Michelle Obama and Oprah Wrinfrey wears her designs as well.

See pictures and video of fashion designer, Maria Pinto below.

Maria Pinto picmaria pinto pictureMaria Pinto photoMaria Pinto photo 2

Photos: Wiggins /

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2 Responses to “Maria Pinto: Michelle Obama’s fashion designer”

  1. 1
    Katie Says:

    Great post. Maria really shows how important it is to work hard and keep following your dreams

  2. 2
    wigs Says:

    i don’t like her dress