Inauguration Day always ushers in change, but perhaps never more so than this year, when President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris will finally wrest control of the White House away from the Trump administration. Biden and Harris’s families were, of course, on hand at the swearing-in ceremony on January 20, and preparations for the day began well in advance; for Ella Emhoff, Harris’s 21-year-old stepdaughter, that meant collaborating with designer Batsheva Hay to come up with a truly one-of-a-kind fit for the occasion.
This week, Vogue spoke to Emhoff—a designer in her own right who is currently a senior at Parsons—and Hay about the process of coming up with an Inauguration Day dress that worked with Emhoff’s Miu Miu coat, their feelings on D.C. style, and a potential future collaboration.
“We were introduced to Ella and her mother through a mutual friend and ‘met” for the first time over zoom before the holidays. Out of the gates it was clear that she had great personal style, knows fashion and loves clothes so this project was equal parts a lot of fun, and a great honor,” said Emhoff’s stylists Jill Lincoln and Jordan Johnson. Catch up on the conversation below:
Batsheva, how did you feel when you found out your clothes were on Ella’s “mental mood board” for Inauguration Day?
Batsheva Hay: I was so amazed. I didn’t even know Ella’s Instagram or how to contact her, but my friend was like, “Kamala’s stepdaughter is so cool, you have to check out her work.” I never thought she’d know who I was, but my friend was like, “You should definitely shoot her.” Then, all of a sudden, this came up, and we followed each other, and I went down the rabbit hole of seeing all of Ella’s knitwear. I was literally trying to buy stuff, and it was all sold out! I became obsessed, and was like, what do I have for her? How can we make this happen?
How did you go about choosing a specific look for Ella?
BH: Ella liked a certain style that she’d found online on Matches, and I looked through some of the new things I was working on—samples and stuff—and we came up with a great version of it in a different fabric.