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He was in Paris when Mrs. Obama donned the look, and the reality of its impact is just being felt. There were A LOT more requests for invitations to his show, for example, Browne says, and he thinks pretty much anyone who didn’t know he added women’s clothes to his repertoire three years ago probably does now.

On a day-to-day basis, though, it has to be business as usual, and he is hands-on, disciplined and organized. That means working on spring collections, developing fabrics, meeting buyers and clients, and scouting locations for his next catwalks. Publicity, too.

“I never set out to be famous,” he says. “It’s awkward to talk about yourself, but I want people to see that I do interesting things, so this is part of it.”

Browne says he’s not the type to dwell on the past if he’s made a mistake _ or to bask in its glory if he hasn’t. He’s just too busy. This month, he is opening a store in Tokyo.

“The travel is good travel. I don’t have time for a real vacation, so if I get a good meal in on a trip, that’s my enjoyment,” Browne says. “I don’t really need a vacation. I love what I’m doing.”

This interview was done in his smallish, sparse and warm boutique in Tribeca. He opened this location in 2006, and he’s not rushing for bigger space. He’s not someone who craves change; he says he likes moving in methodical steps.

On Wednesday, he received a nomination from the Council of Fashion Designers of America as the top menswear designer of the year, a category he previously won in 2006. Last year, he won the National Design Award from the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, an award presented to him by Mrs. Obama.

“I feel like it’s all going well. Men’s is going well, women’s is going well _ and the first lady looked great.”

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Online: http://www.thombrowne.com/about.php

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Follow Samantha Critchell at http://www.twitter.com/ap_fashion and http://www.twitter.com/sam_critchell/