Ella Emhoff Makes A Surprise Appearance On The Catwalk For Proenza Schouler

It was only a matter of time.

Ella Emhoff wearing a black-and-yellow patterned polo neck

by Natalie Hammond |
Updated on

As one of the breakout stars of Inauguration Day, it was only a matter of time until Ella Emhoff, step-daughter of Kamala Harris, would grace the cover of a glossy or command a starring role in an ad campaign. And the brand who beat everyone to the punch? Proenza Schouler.

Appearing as part of NYFW, the brand, known in fashion circles as one of the coolest brands on the calendar, filmed its surprise guest star and handful of other models wearing the kind of directional tailoring, and plush house shoes, that we'd all like to have on wardrobe speed dial come autumn.

Ella Emhoff wearing a grey coat and cream shoes for Proenza Schouler
Proenza Schouler AW21 ©Daniel Shea

Emhoff's off-beat style first caught the world's attention at the inauguration of her step-motherlast month. Instead of opting for power separates or jewel-toned colours, Emhoff wore something a little nattier, namely a collared tweed coat by Miu Miu, a dress by Batsheva Hay, and a very similar pair of wire-rimmed glasses that she sported on today's catwalk.

Ella Emhoff wearing back tailoring for Proenza Schouler
Proenza Schouler AW21 ©Daniel Shea

Her Instagram followerssky-rocketed to more than 380,000, and a few weeks later, IMG came knocking. And while all of this hype is not entirely surprising - Emhoff is a student at Parsons School of Design, and runs a knitted goods raffle in aid of charity on Instagram (check it out!) - it is entirely welcome.


SEE: The Highlights From New York Fashion Week AW21

Proenza Schouler1 of 16
CREDIT: Daniel Shea

Proenza Schouler

Ella Emhoff, Kamala Harris's step-daughter, walked exclusively for Proenza Schouler, making her catwalk debut in an understated yet highly wantable collection that went beautifully with her curled mullet. Ashley Brokaw did the casting, and is famous for cementing the next big faces so expect to see Emhoff's, hopefully still with those wire-rimmed glasses, everywhere this September.

Zimmermann2 of 16
CREDIT: Zimmermann


Inspired by a '70s TV show, Countdown, Nicky Zimmermann embraced a rose-tinted attitude for AW21, with a heady line-up of diaphanous dresses, louche pussy-bows and trumpeting flares.

Gabriela Hearst3 of 16
CREDIT: Gabriela Hearst

Gabriela Hearst

Gabriela Hearst is set for a stellar year. She's about to take the reigns at Chloé, and delivered one of her most breath-taking collections to date for her eponymous brand based in New York. It was something of a family affair - her inspiration was Saint Hildegard of Bingen, a German abbess, after her husband gifted her a book about her - and the flowers blooming across the knitwear were transposed from her daughter's doodlings. An impressive 40% of the collection was made out of deadstock fabrics, a percentage that the designer hopes to shift to 50% this year. 'We found them and turned them around and gave the planet a little break. My father used to say, 'Small things for the world but big for me.' It makes me feel good,' she told Vogue.

Colin Locascio4 of 16
CREDIT: @ colinlocascio

Colin Locascio

Colin Locascio's autumn collection, #madeforthecoolgirl according to his Instagram, is the perfect antidote to all the neutrals you've been that, while mellowing on the soul, aren't exactly mood-lifting. An apple-print jacket on the other hand is just what the doctored order.

Jonathan Simkhai5 of 16
CREDIT: Jonathan Simkhai

Jonathan Simkhai

Jonathan Simkhai's collection - a meditation on kinship, craft and connectedness - proved that the medium of video, while restrictive in some ways, can be a blessing in others. Zooming up to one particular dress - butter-coloured with an asymmetric cut-out - you could really focus on the delicate chain strung across the skin, instead of just watching it flash by on the catwalk.

Anna Sui6 of 16
CREDIT: @annasui

Anna Sui

Anna Sui's rose-tinted collection, Phantasmadelic, was inspired by 1968's Wonderwall, a film that tells the story of a who scientist peeps through a hole in his wall and discovers a dazzling new world beyond. 'As we wait 'on pause' for the new world that will emerge from this pandemic, my mind is awhirl with visions of the vibrant world that lies just ahead,' said Sui.

Anwar Mou wearing a hoodie from Rodarte7 of 16
CREDIT: Rodarte


To celebrate their 15 years in fashion, Rodarte's past collaborators, admirers and friends each filmed a tribute to its founding sisters, Kate and Laura Mulleavy. Model Anwar Mou, pictured, spoke about their welcoming attitude on set; Autumn De Wilde, photographer, talked about meeting them for the first time, before anyone had seen their clothes, and how just seeing one sketch and a swatch of fabric was enough to convince her that she wanted to be part of their journey.

Model wearing Private Policy8 of 16
CREDIT: Private Policy

Private Policy

America's Asian community has seen a spike in hate crimes since the start of Covid-19, which is why Private Policy, from design duo Haoran Li and Siying Qu, decided to dedicate their autumn collection to Chinese immigrant workers in the 19th century. Speaking to The Cut, Qu said: 'The least we could do is speak out against anti-Asian violence. We want this collection to teach people about how generations of Asians have contributed to develop this country.'

Libertine9 of 16
CREDIT: Libertine


Libertine's Johnson Hartig is the master of embellishment, and for AW21, seems to be suggesting that the future is full of it. Whether it's a trench coat with glitter-sprayed sleeves or hats twinkling with paste gems, it's time to indulge your inner magpie.

Bronx and Banco10 of 16
CREDIT: @bronxandbanco

Bronx and Banco

Staged in an old-fashion piano bar, Bronx and Banco's virtual catwalk show made a very convincing case for dressing up. Cue diamanté bras, satin trousers, feathered bustiers and little black dresses slashed at the hip, all of which whispered, 're-emergence'.

Lavie by CK11 of 16
CREDIT: @laviebyck

Lavie by CK

Inspired by Coming to America, Black Panther and Bridgerton, Lavie by CK's lavish collection was the perfect antidote to all the loungewear we've been wearing.

Adeam12 of 16
CREDIT: @adeam


Adeam's latest collection was inspired by a trip to Tokyo's Mori Art Museum, and its exhibition STARS. Its deconstructed shirting, fluid forever dresses and polished sportswear are exactly what we want to wear now.

Model wears orange coat at Jason Wu13 of 16

Jason Wu

For AW21, Jason Wu created a catwalk out of a space very familiar to us all at this point - the supermarket. 'Mr Wu's General Store' was a grocer's filled with fresh produce and flowers, where the models snaked through the stacked wooden crates wearing coats, easy dresses, sweaters and knee-high boots (i.e. motivation a plenty to get out of your leggings) to a socially-distanced audience.

Indira Scott wearing red dress at Monse14 of 16
CREDIT: @monse


For its video presentation, featuring model-of-the-moment Indira Scott, Monse explored what we're currently wearing (loungewear) and what we hope to be wearing in the not too distant future (occasionwear), perhaps suggesting that a marriage of the two is possible now with its little red dress and white sneakers combo.

Woman wearing a yellow dress at Sincerely Ria15 of 16
CREDIT: Sincerely Ria

Sincerely Ria

Sincerely Ria's collection is dedicated to women. 'Here's to the women around the world, the strong, the beautiful, the infinite, the powerful, the soulful, the divine,' says the short film's narrator, while its models appear wearing halos of gold in their hair and clothes that showcase the power and beauty of the female form.

Models wearing pink and flowery clothes at Prabal Gurung16 of 16
CREDIT: @prabalgurung

Prabal Gurung

Perhaps because it was Valentine's Day, Prabal Gurung decided to write a love letter for AW21, not to a person, but to New York. 'New York makes me feel loved,' he says in the short film, which is filled with clothes that speak of romance - and not just because they're largely pink and red. Here's hoping it won't be long before we can all don big sleeves, big flares and big ruffles and revel in the cities we love.

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us