Today Kamala Harris becomes the first female vice-president of the United States, as well as the first Black woman and the first person of South Asian descent to hold the position. It’s a historic, joyous occasion that calls for an outfit to match, and Harris arrived at the Capitol wearing a vibrant purple coat and dress by the young Black American designer Christopher John Rogers.
Rogers is a Brooklyn-based designer who grew up in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He graduated from the Savannah College of Art and Design in 2016, founding his namesake label that same year out of his living room. In 2019, at the age of 25, he got a DM on Instagram from Michelle Obama’s stylist, Meredith Koop, asking if he would design a look for her Becoming book tour. “I immediately threw my phone across the room,” Rogers told the Cut at the time.
Rogers has seen continued success since — in November of 2019, he won the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund — but one can imagine he had a similarly ecstatic reaction after learning that he would be dressing the incoming vice-president. “We are so honored and humbled to have played a small part in this historic moment,” he wrote in an Instagram post on Wednesday.
Rogers is known for having an eye for color, and his spring-summer 2021 collection provided a welcome jolt during the pandemic. His choice of an iridescent purple for today’s inauguration is almost certainly a symbolic one. Incoming First Lady, Dr. Jill. Biden, wore a similar colored coat last night to the COVID memorial, and Hillary Clinton wore a purple scarf on Wednesday. It’s been said that the color — made by mixing red and blue — is meant to show unity. It is also associated with the women’s suffrage movement.
Rogers is also known for his use of volume. Harris’s coat may not have had the same drama as some of his runway looks, but it is impeccably tailored, with strong shoulders and slight flare at the bottom.
Of course, the look was topped off with Harris’s signature pearls, which rest neatly in between the coat’s collar.