Kamala Harris Wears Pyer Moss the Night Before Inauguration
The coat signals what to expect from the new Vice President in terms of how she'll use her wardrobe to champion Black American creativity.
At a COVID-19 memorial ceremony last night, Kamala Harris – who will be sworn in as the first female and first person of colour to be Vice President of the United States later today – notably donned a camel coat by New York-based brand Pyer Moss, helmed by Kerby Jean-Raymond, for the occasion. The look set the tone for what we can expect in terms of how Harris will use her wardrobe as a symbol of support for Black American creatives such as Jean-Raymond, who won the CFDA Fashion Award for American Menswear Designer of the Year in 2020.
Harris’s outerwear choice was not only distinctive thanks to its offbeat design detail of a curved panel across the back shoulders; it more importantly marks a shift in ideology within the White House orbit. While incoming President Joe Biden has reportedly selected a suit by Ralph Lauren for the inauguration, Harris’s bold move last night shows us that she’s not afraid to step outside the status quo with her outfits.
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Using fashion as a means of advocacy and calling attention to important issues is certainly nothing new for women who hold political power; and Harris’s coat is an especially potent visual cue for consideration given Jean-Raymond’s outspokenness about tokenism in the fashion industry. But sartorial choices have also been weaponized against such accomplished women; consider the backlash toward Finland’s Prime Minister, Sanna Marin, and her decision to wear a blazer with nothing underneath for a magazine photo shoot last year.
Harris’s navigation of the sexism inherent in people’s opinions of how women dress is worth observation; but last night’s outfit heralds an exciting and much-needed opportunity for change. And now, we wait to see what Harris emerges wearing for her swearing-in…
Watch this space for ongoing coverage of the standout fashion moments of Inauguration Day 2021.