Viktor and Rolf were definitely giving a nod to prep girls, allowed to have a designer Friday.
But rather than honing in on the present (Mrs. Obama included), the designer is focused on the bigger picture instead.
The designer must speak directly to the customer and more often than not her first language is Arabic or Chinese.
1640s, "one who schemes;" agent noun from design (v.). Meaning "one who makes an artistic design or a construction plan" is from 1660s. In fashion, as an adjective, "bearing the label of a famous clothing designer" (thus presumed to be expensive or prestigious), from 1966. Designer drug attested from 1983.
Of high quality; bearing a famous label: Ah, designer ennui (1960s+)noun
A counterfeiter (1940s+ Underworld)