Second Lady Jill Biden (pictured) reminded everyone she has spent some time in Africa recently with her style choice for the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit White House Dinner on Tuesday night.
Biden took everyone by surprise when she wore a strapless turquoise wax print dress, courtesy of the Congo.
Last month, she made several trips across the continent, including Zambia, Sierra Leone, and Congo, to speak with leaders on education, gender-based violence, and economic development with a focus on women.
While in the Congo, she visited the popular Vlisco store, where she fell in love with the bold prints and colors. Vlisco Group Director Madame Monique Gieskes wears many hats in Kinshasa: she is the sewing shop owner and actively trains local women impacted by gender-based violence “to become tailors and eventually run fashion-based businesses of their own.”
By the end of the visit, Biden had chosen the perfect dress for the upcoming White House dinner.
Biden told the Washington Post, “For me, the fabric and style of this dress embodies the beauty and strength of the women I met throughout my visit to Africa last month.”
The ladies of Vlisco were reportedly in a pinch for time in completing the Second Lady’s dress, since she was headed back to Washington the next day, but a seamstress completed the dress in time.
Gieskes told the Washington Post, “It can take three to four days usually, but we knew she was leaving the next day.”
Biden’s choice to wear the beautiful wax print dress says much more about the women behind the dress, “A woman anywhere in the world, you see – no matter the continent, no matter the color – what she chooses to wear is supporting what another woman is doing in her country,” said Gieskes.