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For the first time in American history, we have a female vice president. Kamala Harris holds a seat of power the likes of which a woman has never held before—a South-East Asian and Black woman, no less. Besides all the good I know she’ll do in her new role, one of the things exciting me the most is getting to see which Black designers our new MVP will wear during her time in the White House.
All of VP Harris’ looks to date have been nothing short of immaculate, whether she’s all dressed up or kicking it in her beloved Converse. With the whole world watching her every move, there will of course be many more important things for her to focus on besides fashion, but her wardrobe choices are still extremely significant.
For example, choosing to wear a Black designer on inauguration day was a deliberate decision that I hope Harris continues to make while she’s in the spotlight. In the past, Black designers have been notably absent from White House fashion, so by wearing Black designers during the inauguration week and beyond, Harris’ wardrobe tells Americans that she plans to diversify in any way she can.
So far, we’ve seen our new VP in fabulous Black labels like Pyer Moss, Christopher John Rogers and Sergio Hudson. These Black designers are not only making spectacular collections, but also creating trends and changing the fashion world as we know it.
In a time when our nation continues to struggle with systematic racism, seeing the Vice President embrace and wear Black designers is a pivotal move. That said, I think we could add a few more brands to her no-doubt-incredible closet. Below, some Black designers I hope to see Vice President Harris in over the next four years.
Andrea Iyamah launched her eponymous label launched at the young age of 17. Best known for colorful and eccentric fashion-forward swimwear, her range also extends to custom and bridal looks. Celebs that have sported Andrea Iyamah include Gabrielle Union, Ciara, Kate Hudson and Issa Rae—and soon enough, hopefully our new MVP, too. This vibrant orange look is exactly what the White House needs to add a little color to its palette. The pleated designs feel fresh, but still professional.
Before founding Bello Edu, Nigerian and Ghanaian designer Alima Bello was already designing clothing for her friends and family back in 2008. As the first-born child in her family, she was expected to graduate from school and work in the family business: an oil mill and refinery. However, in 2014 she debuted her first fashion collection, and in 2017 she opened her flagship store. This coat dress feels polished and practical enough for everyday wear, but still elegant enough for a good photo op—oh, and it has pockets!
Mateo New York
If there’s one thing I know for sure, it’s that as soon as people noticed Vice President Harris wearing pearls, they started taking over the Internet. These stunning Mateo New York freshwater pearl baroque-style earrings would be the perfect complement to her signature pearl necklace. Matthew Harris was born and raised in Jamaica and came from fashion, as his mother was a seamstress. After arriving in the US at the age of 16, the self-taught jewelry designer moved to New York City, spending most of the time in the jewelry district. Mateo New York was launched in 2008, and was a CFDA Vogue Finalist.
Sergio Hudson’s namesake ready-to-wear line is designed and produced in Los Angeles, California. Hudson was a contestant on the Bravo television show Style to Rock, and most recently, Michelle Obama donned one of his all-raspberry looks to the Inauguration, prompting the monochrome trend to return with gusto. Harris has worn his pieces before, but this burgundy look from the designer’s “Collection Seven” feels positively presidential, and I’d love to see her twinning with Michelle.
House of Aama
Rebecca Henry and Akua Shabaka are the impressive mother-daughter design partners behind House of Aama. The brand is made entirely in Los Angeles, California and its vintage flair is inspired by the Black experience, nostalgia and heritage. This pink silk blouse adds a touch of girly aesthetic that would break up Harris’ usually-stern wardrobe. The bows on the end of the sleeves are cute, but would still feel right underneath a serious blazer.
The brilliance behind Sukeina comes from designer Omar Salam, whose background includes working for Sonia Rykiel in Paris as well as Christian Lacroix. In 2012, Salam founded his own line named after his late mother, Sukeina, which translates to “bright light”. Black and white is a no-brainer to any D.C. professional, and this gorgeous ensemble is the perfect modern twist on a white blouse and pencil skirt to make Harris stand out in a room full of political big-wigs.
While I can’t say I’ve ever seen anyone in the White House wear a full-on, head-to-toe leather look, who’s to say now isn’t the perfect time to make it happen? The camel color of this leather two-piece suit feels super luxe, and I just know our girl could pull it off. Created by American designer Virgil Abloh, Off-White is a luxury Italian brand that carries everything from menswear-inspired shirting to their infamous yellow buckle belt. Off-White is also known for an impressive list of collaborations, some of which include Jimmy Choo and Evian.
Founded by British designer Grace Wales Bonner, her namesake brand launched back in 2014 and she won the LVMH Young Designer Prize in 2016 after her first solo runaway presentation. The label is a blend of Afro-Atlantic inspiration with award-winning menswear designs. Few things say “power” like a great structured blazer, and I can totally see Vice President Harris wearing this one during a major press announcement.
Sophia Demirtas of Fanm Mon first started her line as an Etsy shop, but quickly shifted to ready-to-wear fashion. The luxury womenswear brand launched in 2013, and its ultra-femme aesthetic incorporates embroidery and bright colorways. Harris doesn’t wear dresses often, but this swingy yet still-structured look could change her tune.
While Vice President Harris is known for her classic Chucks, it would be fun to see her implement just a touch of color with these Telfar for Converse sneakers instead. Telfar, by Liberian-American designer Telfar Clemens, is a unisex line that launched in 2005 and is based in Brooklyn, New York. The brand’s (constantly-sold-out) signature shopping bags have taken over the streets of New York, and the iconic logo is actually modeled after Clemens’ personal monogram.