Ella Emhoff, the stepdaughter of US vice-president Kamala Harris, made her surprise catwalk debut on Thursday after becoming a fashion hit during January’s presidential inauguration.
After the announcement she had signed with IMG Models in the wake of the ceremony last month, the 21-year-old daughter of Doug Emhoff, the second gentleman, walked the runway during a socially distanced New York Fashion Week presentation by label Proenza Schouler.
“I definitely lost a little sleep the night before,” Emhoff admitted during a conversation with the label’s designers Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez. “I mean, I’m walking for the first time, I’m in a professional environment for the first time … It was a very epic first experience with the fashion world.”
In the digital video she walks around New York’s Parrish Art Museum in three different fashion looks.
The first saw her matching her now trademark wire-rimmed glasses with slashed grey trousers and jacket, a black pipe bag and cream colour shearling slippers. The second was a yellow tie-dye swirled turtleneck top and black trousers under a black leather trench coat . The third was a black wool blazer with matching trousers. All were very different looks to her bedazzled Miu Miu coat, which went viral during the inauguration.
“For a long time when I was younger I wanted to be a designer,” she said according to CNN, “then I took it a little more seriously, I started taking courses at Central Saint Martins over two summers … It definitely exposed me to the intensity of design school.”
On her Instagram page, Emhoff is currently holding a raffle to win some pink striped trousers she has knitted, with proceeds going to two charities that provide outreach for black transgender women, For The Gworls and The Okra Project.
“I want to see guys, girls, people, everyone wearing striped colourful pants or my dresses,” she said in the talk that was part of New York Fashion Week: The Talks. “I think that’d be great.”