Libby Wadle

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Twenty months after going private, J. Crew is hotter than ever — just ask First Lady Michelle Obama, whose affinity for the clothing chain has been well chronicled by fashion blogs and magazines. Wadle, the head of the company’s flagship J. Crew brand, is behind many of its recent coups. Under her watch, J. Crew made a big push into men’s wear, expanded its website to more than 100 countries, and forged plans to sell its clothing in China this fall. Sales at the company have soared, growing in the double digits in the first half of 2012. Stress reliever: Dance parties with her two kids, every Sunday morning. –M.K.