Hillary Clinton has revealed she started wearing her now-iconic pantsuits only after photographers took ‘evocative’ photos of her on an official trip to Brazil nearly 30 years ago – some of them ended up being used in lingerie commercials.
The former first lady, 74, described the moment she chose to ditch skirts and return to her fondness for pants in an interview with CBS News on Sunday.
“I was sitting on a couch and the press was let in. There were a lot of them shooting at each other,” Clinton said, describing the 1995 event in Brazil when she was first lady.
“All of a sudden the White House is alerted by these billboards that show me sitting with, I thought, my legs together. But the way it’s shot, it’s kind of suggestive.
Some of Clinton’s snaps were used in an ad for Brazilian lingerie company Duloren, which made headlines like “Hillary Clinton is the ‘star’ of Brazilian lingerie advertising” and “First lady of lingerie: Hillary Clinton”.
Clinton said that incident, and the constant photography that followed at public events, prompted her to switch to pantsuits.
“I’m also starting to have the experience of having photographers all the time — I’d be on a stage, I’d be walking up stairs, and they’d be below me,” Clinton added.
“I couldn’t deal with it, so I started wearing pants.”
The former secretary of state opened up about the origins of her signature pantsuits in an interview alongside her daughter, Chelsea Clinton, as they promoted their new Apple TV+ docuseries “Gutsy.”
Chelsea admitted in the interview that she didn’t actually know that story, saying, “It’s by far the biggest revelation I’ve had.”
“It’s so scary,” the former first daughter added.
The eight-part docuseries will feature stories from the world’s “boldest and bravest women” and promotional clips will include remarks from celebrities such as Amy Schumer and rapper Megan Thee Stallion.
In a recent interview promoting the series, Clinton suggested that her decision to support her husband, former President Bill Clinton, after revelations that he had affairs with a number of women – including the intern of the White House Monica Lewinsky – was the bravest thing she had done.
“You have a marriage that has been on public display from the beginning,” said Reverend Whittney Ijanaten, chaplain at UCLA Health. “You said the bravest thing you ever did was stay in your marriage.”
“That doesn’t mean it’s good for everyone,” Clinton replied, nodding yes.