Ella Emhoff is making her modeling debut less than a month after dazzling the world with her chic style on Inauguration Day.
Emhoff, who is Vice President Kamala Harris’ stepdaughter and second gentleman Doug Emhoff’s daughter, walked the runway Thursday in a surprise appearance at Proenza Schouler’s socially distanced show during New York Fashion Week.
The 21-year-old fashion student — Emhoff studies at Parsons School of Design in New York City — showed off three different looks from the American label’s Fall/Winter 2021 collection: a leather trench coat layered over a yellow-and-black print turtleneck, a long gray coat with matching baggy slacks and a striking fitted black suit, which she wore sans blouse.
Emhoff became an unexpected style star in January after wearing a funky Miu Miu coat on Inauguration Day that won raves from fashionistas around the globe. She wore the plaid coat, which featured an oversized collar and bejeweled shoulders, over a Batsheva dress. She topped off the look with a black leather headband in her curly hair.
Just one week after the ceremony, the New York Times reported that Emhoff had been signed to IMG Models, a prestigious agency that represents the likes of Karlie Kloss, Alek Wek and Ashley Graham.
“It’s not really about shape, size or gender anymore. Ella communicates this moment in time. There’s a cheekiness and a joy she exudes,” Ivan Bart, the agency’s president, told the Times.
Bart added that when he saw Emhoff’s fresh look at the presidential swearing-in ceremony, he thought, “Wow, she’s communicating fashion.”
Emhoff told the Times that she never imagined modeling would be on her resumé.
“I was pretty surprised when everything with IMG was happening because when I was younger, I never saw that as being part of my timeline,” she shared.
“As someone who, like a lot of young girls out there, had self-confidence issues, it is intimidating and scary to go into this world that is hyper-focused on you and the body,” she added.
The heavily inked designer — Emhoff estimates she has at least 18 tattoos — changed her mind after seeing the diverse array of models walking catwalks these days, and she decided she wanted to be “part of that change.”
But don’t expect Emhoff to always dress for the runway. As her Instagram fans know, she’s just as likely to throw on a pair of patchwork jeans or one of her own kicky neon knitted caps.
The fresh new face of fashion explained, “I pick and choose the times I want to show my style.”