Why Doug Emhoff's Daughter's Inauguration Jacket Had People Talking
Jan 22 2021
The inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th president of the United States wasn't just a significant day for the political future of the country. It was also a day full of celebrated, eye-catching fashion choices -- and one young woman's outfit got people talking more than most.
Doug Emhoff is the high-powered attorney husband of Vice President Kamala Harris. He has two children, Cole and Ella Emhoff, from a previous marriage.
After Emhoff and Harris married in 2014, the kids formed a close relationship with their stepmother and started referring to her as "Momola," per The New York Post.
“... you just have to know, though, that she’s the Attorney General in California...”
Kamala Harris does not have any biological children, but often brought her stepchildren out with her at events on the campaign trail. Ella — who is a textile design student at Parsons in New York City — caught the attention of internet denizens for her fashion-forward outfits. She gained a large following on her Instagram page where she showed off her bright, colorful knitted pieces along with her unique fashion sense.
Leading up to the inauguration, Ella was interviewed by Garage and was asked if she would design her own outfit for the event. She explained her thinking to the outlet, saying:
"I want to, but [...] my style and my practice are so different, but I think I might have to just make an exception because for such a momentous occasion, I think it does require a pretty momentous outfit."
As promised, Ella's ensemble did not disappoint. Ella Emhoff’s chic jacket set the internet abuzz on the historic day. Town & Country described it as, a quote, "embellished, strong-shouldered Miu Miu coat, accented by an embroidered, floppy collar."
She completed the look with black gloves, high-cut boots, a black face mask, and a headband that held her curly hair in place.
Twitter exploded with users heaping praise on the young fashionista's wardrobe choice. The fashion news account Haute Le Mode wrote:
"Kamala Harris' step daughter Ella Emhoff wearing Thom Browne & an embellished coat. Let me tell you, I am excited for the next 4 years!"
One fan tweeted:
"This is Ella Emhoff's era and we're all just living in it."
In her interview with Garage, Ella spoke about what she hopes to accomplish in her fashion career, saying:
"I think the goal is definitely to have my own knitwear brand, label, whatever you call it. Setting up a shop, most likely online [..] where I can just have a bunch of different pieces that I'm constantly creating."
Emhoff decided to seek the help of another designer for her Inauguration Day look. In an interview with Vogue, which came out immediately following the ceremony, the burgeoning fashionista spoke about her collaboration with designer Batsheva Hay.
The two women had met online after a friend suggested to Hay that she check out Ella's fantastic Instagram account, which is littered with her vibrant knitwear pieces. After connecting on social media, the two decided to collaborate on a dress for the Vice President's stepdaughter.
The fashionable jacket and dress weren't the only things people noticed. Several keen-eyed viewers noticed the curly-haired designer making hilarious gestures with her eyebrows as she watched former Vice President Mike Pence during the ceremony.
Gaining attention for her head-turning look at the inauguration was not Ella's first brush with online fame. Prior to Inauguration Day in 2021, she gained notoriety as the star of a viral TikTok video in November 2020. The video was recorded and uploaded to the platform by Kamala Harris' niece, Meena Harris. It showed Ella walking into a room and dancing while holding a bag of McDonald's in each hand, taking a celebratory pose while "Positions" by Ariana Grande played over the footage. The caption read:
"Ella Emhoff is the main character (who just tried Filet-O-Fish for the first time EVER) #biden2020."
Now, it seems, she's the main character in the lookbooks of millions of politics followers. After gaining instant fashion credibility, it will be interesting to see what Ella does next with her newfound fame.