Biden, Harris opt for American fashion designers for Inauguration attire

The Bidens and Harris'

President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris were inaugurated Wednesday wearing outfits by Ralph Lauren and other American fashion designers, as well as spouses Jill Biden and Doug Emhoff, thus celebrating emerging and Black fashion talent after First Lady Melania Trump relied more on foreign designers throughout her husband’s presidency.

President-elect Biden is wearing a navy suit and overcoat by Ralph Lauren, breaking from predecessors who have traditionally opted for Brooks Brothers.

Incoming First Lady Jill Biden is wearing an “ocean blue tweed coat and dress” from emerging American designer Alexandra O’Neill’s Makarian label, the Biden transition confirmed, which O’Neill said in a statement was blue to signal “trust, confidence, and stability.”

Harris is wearing pieces by Black American designers Sergio Hudson, originally from South Carolina, and Christopher John Rogers, who is from Baton Rouge (and made Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list in 2020).

Emhoff is also wearing a Ralph Lauren suit.

The inaugural fashion choices follow former First Lady Michelle Obama’s frequent championing of emerging American designers during her time in the White House, including Hudson and Rogers. 

Melania Trump also wore Ralph Lauren during her husband’s inauguration in 2017—resulting in blowback for the iconic designer—but often wore foreign designers’ pieces as a number of American designers distanced themselves from the Trump administration. 

Biden’s decision to wear Ralph Lauren brand could signal the incoming president’s “sober reliability and even predictability,” men’s fashion author Michael Zakim told the Guardian.

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