Ella Emhoff has made her official runway debut for American label Proenza Schouler at New York Fashion Week.
The stepdaughter of Vice President Kamala Harris first caught the public’s attention at President Joe Biden’s inauguration, when her embellished Miu Miu coat went viral and made her the event’s sartorial breakout star.
Shortly after the ceremony, Emhoff was signed to IMG Models. The agency’s formidable directory includes supermodels Karlie Kloss and Gisele Bündchen as well as Bella and Gigi Hadid.
Like many other brands, Proenza Schouler is presenting its Fall-Winter 2021 womenswear collection digitally this year due to ongoing health and safety concerns due to the pandemic.
Their campaign video sees the concrete perimeter of the Parrish Art Museum in New York turn into a makeshift runway. According to the show notes, the range aims to “comfort, inspire, and empower the modern-day woman.”
The collection blends sharp, structured tailoring with cocooning knitwear and an array of playful statement features from long fringed sleeves and soft padded slippers to leather socks under structured stilettos.
In a recorded interview for NYFW at Spring Studios in New York, Emhoff admitted to having first-show jitters. “I definitely lost a little sleep the night before,” she said in conversation with Proenza Schouler 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.”
Plans for creating a brand of her own seemed to be on the horizon, too. “For a really long time when i was younger I wanted to be a designer,” she said. “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.”
Emhoff has been knitting for thirteen years and envisions her designs as unisex. “I want to see guys, girls, people, everyone wearing striped colorful pants or my dresses,” she said. “I think that’d be great.”
Emhoff took a step closer to realizing that dream on Thursday, releasing a candy-colored capsule collection with Mall NYC, an online shop dedicated to promoting “the work of independent designers you may not know of yet.” Emhoff’s offbeat style may make her an underground designer by nature, but not by name. The five knitted pieces listed on Mall NYC’s site sold out within an hour. They ranged from $320 for a sweater vest to $160 for a pair of striped shorts.