NEW YORK — They already knew she looked good in a coat.
So the designers at Proenza Schouler decided to dress Ella Emhoff — art student, knitwear designer, fledgling model and stepdaughter of Vice President Kamala Harris — in a couple of coats (plus a pantsuit) for her modeling debut in their new collection, unveiled Thursday for New York Fashion Week.
Designers Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough said the fashion world took quick notice when 21-year-old Emhoff appeared at the inauguration in January, dressed in a quirky Miu Miu coat with bejeweled shoulders along with a starchy white collar. Social media took notice, too.
Soon after, the designers were planning their February show and the casting director mentioned Emhoff. “And we said, ‘We were just talking about Ella.’ Seemed like everyone was kind of talking about her,” McCollough said in an interview.
As it turns out, Emhoff, a senior and art major at Parsons School of Design (where Hernandez and McCollough met and began their partnership), had just signed with IMG Models, joining an even bigger breakout star of the inauguration: poet Amanda Gorman.