A First Lady You Should Know About: Chantal Biya of Cameroon

Chantal from left: With Michelle Obama earlier this month in New York; with Paris Hilton in Beverly Hills in April; awaiting Pope Benedict's arrival to Cameroon in March; and strutting the red carpet solo in L.A. in April.

The Huffington Post has picked up on a new fashion character who has been haunting us — in a good way — since last week. She is the 39-year-old First Lady of Cameroon, Chantal Biya, and she is like the Lady Gaga Knowles of first ladies — Lady Gowles, if you will. The Huffington Post reports:

In the past, she's mentioned Dior and Chanel as a few of her favorite European labels, while the traditional African outfits she dons are custom-made, designed, and sewn by tailors ... In Cameroon her wardrobe has made her so popular she routinely launches trends and has a hairstyle, the Chantal Biya, named after hair.

She is so diva-fierce we can hardly stand it. She proudly towers above her husband, thanks to her magnificent mane and platform heels. She wore a giant cross-emblazoned, pink-and-white lace origami hat to meet the pope. And she makes Michelle Obama, a considerable fashion risk-taker by Washington standards, look so understated. Chantal's photo op with with Paris Hilton surely has to be the best bit of publicity that socialite has ever gotten. Seeing how happy she looks holding Paris's hand almost makes us feel like Paris should make us that happy, too! Almost.

Michelle Obama Finally Gets Some Serious Competition: Introducing Chantal Biya, First Lady of Cameroon [HuffPo]