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Michelle Obama and Kamala Harris support Black American designers at presidential inauguration

By Heather Cichowski

January 20, 2021
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Kamala Harris, Michelle Obama and Jill Biden all showed their support for up-and-coming American designers with their beautiful and patriotic outfits at the 2021 presidential inauguration in Washington, DC.

Michelle joined husband and former U.S. President Barack Obama to witness Joe Biden and Kamala being inaugurated as U.S. President and Vice President, respectively, at the historic event. Kamala not only became the first woman Vice President, but she is also the first Black woman and first South Asian woman to be America's Vice President.

Michelle wowed in a plum ensemble comprised of a longline tailored coat, coordinating turtleneck and wide-leg trousers with statement golden belt buckle. She covered up in a black face mask, gloves and pumps. The coat is reportedly by Sergio Hudson, a Black designer from South Carolina. Sergio's collections are produced in Los Angeles.

What a beautiful burgundy ensemble! Photo: © Win McNamee/Getty Images

Kamala also chose to support the designer, who is known for his mastery of colour. The incoming U.S. vice president wore a royal purple coat from Sergio Hudson paired with a Christopher John Rogers suit, pearls and a black face mask, gloves and pumps. Christopher is another prominent Black American designer who is recognized for his sharp shapes and beautiful use of colour.

Kamala's choice of purple is significant in another way, CNN's Abby Phillip said during the inauguration.

"When she ran for president, one of her colours of her campaign was purple... that is a nod to Shirley Chisholm," Abby explained.

Shirley was the first Black woman elected to the United States Congress. She represented New York from 1969 to 1983, and also ran for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination in 1972.

Purple was a popular and significant colour among many inauguration attendees. Photo: © Rob Carr/Getty Images

Jill also selected an emerging American label. The incoming U.S. First Lady stepped out in a bespoke blue tweed coat and a dress from Markarian. The brand, which started in 2017, is designed by Colorado-born fashion designer Alexandra O'Neill.

(L-R) Doug Emhoff, U.S. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, Jill Biden and President-elect Joe Biden wave as they arrive on the East Front of the U.S. Capitol for the inauguration. Photo: © Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff and Joe Biden donned suits from Ralph Lauren, who has been a mainstay in American fashion for decades and helped define what it is today.

Joe and Kamala were sworn in during a ceremony in front of the U.S. Capitol building that also featured performances by Lady Gaga and Jennifer Lopez. Gaga took the stage for a rousing version of "The Star-Spangled Banner," while J.Lo ran through American classic "This Land is Your Land," originally written by Woody Guthrie and famously performed by both him and Pete Seeger.

Those will not be the only performances we will see today. A primetime special will be hosted by Tom Hanks later on the evening of Jan. 20. He will be joined by Justin Timberlake, Demi Lovato and many others.

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