Madam Vice President Kamala Harriswore a vibrant purple coat by Black designers Christopher John Rogers (Louisiana) and Sergio Hudson (South Carolina) to be sworn-in to office at the 46th Inaugural ceremony. This bold fashion statement foreshadows what we can expect from the former California senator’s White House style.
From former first lady Michelle Obama to 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, Harris, among others, wore purple as a traditional symbol of bipartisanship — a mix of Democratic blue and Republican red. But for Harris, the color held extra significance, choosing to wear the color as a nod to Shirley Chisholm, the first Black woman to run for president in 1972 and often wore the same color.
The look was reminiscent of FLOTUS Michelle Obama’s look during her Becoming book tour. Hudson also designed Obama’s purple ensemble.
From her outfit to her jewelry, Harris’ look was intentional. She wore a custom pearl necklace by Puerto Rican designer Wilfredo Rosado. The necklace honors her Howard University sorority Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA) whose founders are often referred to as the “Twenty Pearls.”
Harris has worn a pearl necklace at nearly every important life occasion since her graduation from college. She wore a double-layered pearl necklace and coordinating pearl earrings when she signed documents receiving the Democratic nomination for Vice President, making her the first Black woman and first person of Indian descent to be a presumptive nominee on a presidential ticket by a major party in U.S. history.
Then, there was her look from Tuesday night. Harris attended a ceremony at the National Mall in Washington that commemorated the 400,000 lives lost to the COVID pandemic. She donned a sleek all-black ensemble with camel wool coat by Pyer Moss, a fashion label by Haitian-American designer Kerby Jean-Raymond.
Aside from the statements in her outfit selections, Harris was intentional about honoring important figures in her life. She was sworn in by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the first Hispanic and Latinx person and only the third woman to serve on the court. And she took her oath of office on two Bibles — one that belonged to Thurgood Marshall, the first Black Supreme Court justice and Harri’s political role model, and another that belonged to her surrogate mother and childhood neighbor, Regina Shelton.
Both looks set the tone for Harris’ upcoming vice presidency.