Ella Emhoff Is The New Fashion Star To Watch – Here’s Why

Kamala Harris’ step-daughter is everyone's new fashion crush.

ella emhoff balenciaga couture

by Laura Antonia Jordan |
Updated on

It really wouldn't be hyperbolic to refer to Balenciaga's recent Haute Couture show as historic. The label's founder closed the doors to the couturier over 50 years ago and now, Demna Gvasalia has decided to bring it back. And who did he choose as one of his models for this major fashion moment? None other than Ella Emhoff.

Having alreadyappeared on the catwalk for Proenza Schouler, Emhoff is shaping up to be one of the most in-demand names for designers right now. And there's a very good reason for that.

Think back to your graduation outfit. If you're cringing over the patent nude heels (just me?), then you might want to look away now because Emhoff wore the most amazing dress from The Vampire's Wife for her own ceremony. Of course she did.

Vice President Kamala Harris posted a tribute to her step-daughter on Instagram. 'Congratulations to our daughter Ella on her graduation. I am so proud of you. Keep dreaming with ambition and there is nothing you cannot achieve. Love, Momala.'

Of course, Emhoff hasn't rested on her laurels since Inauguration Day. As well as signing a modelling contract soon after with IMG, she's partnered with Batsheva Hay, the designer whose dress she wore on that fateful day in January, on a hotly-anticipated knitwear collaboration.

Ella Emhoff in Miu Miu
Ella Emhoff in Miu Miu ©Getty

The world sat up and took notice at inauguration, when Emhoff opted for a checked coat from Miu Miu. With its cinched waist, it was a suitably respectful choice for the occasion, but the sprinkle of sparkle on the shoulders transformed something prim into something deliciously unpredictable. And was that exaggerated, starched white collar chosen as a reverent nod to Ruth Bader Ginsburg? We can only guess.

What is certain is that Brooklyn-based Emhoff – the daughter of new second gentleman Doug Emhoff and Hollywood producer Kerstin Emhoff – knows fashion. (Hello, she styled her graduation frock with an irreverent string of beads.) That shouldn’t be surprising, she just graduated from the textiles and apparel course at the prestigious Parsons School of Design. As well as a silk moiré dress from Batsheva Hay, the designer who wooed New York’s coolest downtown girls into modest frocks, she finished the look with a Loeffler Randall headband and not, as would have been the ‘safe’ choice, pumps, but chunky boots.

Social media predictably freaked over Emhoff’s inauguration look, but buzz was already building around her after she wore a pinstriped suit from the Frankie Shop back in November. On the eve of the inauguration, she posed for a picture in front of the Washington Monument with her mother and brother, Cole, wearing a Thom Browne double-breasted trench, red, white and blue pleated skirt, shirt and tie.

Emhoff’s triumph is in the tricky balancing act she pulls off: she manages to be both appropriate and retain an edge, adding a dash of unpredictable art school cool to looks that are entirely fitting for the occasion. Not many political ‘children of’ or young royals do this successfully. They end up looking like prim pastiches, dressing how they think they’re supposed to dress – in nude heels, for instance – rather than how they want to dress. You know Emhoff is choosing her own clothes on her own terms.

If you already can’t get enough of Emhoff, then check out her Instagram, which is jam-packed with her candy crochet designs: Tweety bags, checkerboard bucket hats, rainbow pants (we think Harry Styles would be a fan). Given Harris’ new reputation as a champion of young talent, might we next see her wearing one of step-daughter’s pieces? Consider that yet another reason to be excited about this new era in American politics.

Gallery

SEE: Kamala Harris's Wardrobe In Action

Kamala Harris1 of 18
CREDIT: Getty

7 November 2020

Kamala Harris2 of 18
CREDIT: Getty

27 October 2020

Kamala Harris3 of 18
CREDIT: Getty

25 October 2020

Kamala Harris4 of 18
CREDIT: Getty

26 September 2020

Kamala Harris5 of 18
CREDIT: Getty

2 October 2020

Kamala Harris6 of 18
CREDIT: Getty

15 September 2020

Kamala Harris7 of 18
CREDIT: Getty

19 August 2020

Kamala Harris8 of 18
CREDIT: Getty

18 May 2020

Kamala Harris9 of 18
CREDIT: Getty

14 September 2019

Kamala Harris10 of 18
CREDIT: Getty

24 July 2019

Kamala Harris11 of 18
CREDIT: Getty

30 June 2019

Kamala Harris12 of 18
CREDIT: Getty

30 March 2019

Kamala Harris13 of 18
CREDIT: Getty

12 November 2018

Kamala Harris14 of 18
CREDIT: Getty

15 September 2018

Kamala Harris15 of 18
CREDIT: Getty

24 June 2018

Kamala Harris16 of 18
CREDIT: Getty

20 July 2017

Kamala Harris17 of 18
CREDIT: Getty

17 September 2015

Kamala Harris18 of 18
CREDIT: Getty

22 February 2015

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