Exclusive: Michelle Obama returns to the limelight at ESPY Awards in Cushnie et Ochs

In her first major appearance since leaving the White House, former First Lady Michelle Obama wore a Cushnie et Ochs dress, Jennifer Fisher jewelry, and Gianvito Rossi shoes Wednesday night in Los Angeles at the 25th annual ESPY awards, where she honored the late Eunice Kennedy Shriver with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award.

"Michelle Obama embodies a level of effortless confidence and personal style that every American woman, no matter her age or demographic, can appreciate and emulate," said Fisher of dressing Obama. "In her speech tonight Mrs. Obama said that Eunice Kennedy Shriver changed hearts and minds. Mrs. Obama did the same for the American people and it's an honor to see her in my jewelry."

"Eunice Kennedy Shriver was a passionate champion for those with developmental challenges, empowering them to fulfill their highest potential," Obama said previously in a statement regarding the honoring. "Her work to promote inclusion and acceptance transformed the lives of countless young athletes and inspired us all. I am incredibly honored to present this award to her son to celebrate her life's work."

Kennedy Shriver, who was the sister of John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy and Ted Kennedy, founded the Special Olympics in 1968. She died in 2009 at age 88.

Obama presented the award to Timothy Shriver, Kennedy Shriver's son, who serves as chair of the Special Olympics. According to ESPN, the Arthur Ashe Courage Award is given out to "someone who embodies the spirit of its namesake, tennis legend and longtime human rights campaigner Arthur Ashe."

Her appearance at the ESPYs (the Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly awards) marked one of the first big public appearances the former First Lady has made since leaving the White House. Her embrace of the fashion industry, particularly of American designers, was well documented throughout President Obama's two terms, and it remains to be seen what form her fashion choices will take post White House. She continues to work with stylist Meredith Koop, whom she has worked with since 2009. For the ESPYs she worked with makeup artist Carl Ray and hairstylist Yene Damtew.

More from WWD:
'Dear Michelle': Designers Write Thank You Notes to the First Lady
Michelle Obama's Makeup Artist Looks Backward and Forward
Michelle Obama Wears Narciso Rodriguez for Final Speech as FLOTUS
First Lady Michelle Obama Wears Brandon Maxwell Dress for State Dinner for Singapore Prime Minister

Related: See the red carpet arrivals at the ESPY Awards