09/30/2014 02:36 EDT | Updated 11/30/2014 05:59 EST

Michelle Obama hosts National Design Award winners, including her dressmaker Narciso Rodriguez

WASHINGTON - Michelle Obama says she speaks for all women in saying she's glad that Narciso Rodriguez became a fashion designer.

Rodriguez is among winners of the 2014 National Design Awards and attended an annual White House luncheon the first lady held Tuesday for the group.

She also wore one of Rodriguez's designs: a sleeveless, eggplant-colored sheath dress.

Mrs. Obama saluted the winners for having some of the "most daring and creative minds in the world." But as important as it is to celebrate the best designers in America today, the first lady says it's also necessary to cultivate the best designers of tomorrow.

The National Design Awards were begun in 2000 by the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, to honour lasting achievement in American design.