Ella Emhoff makes runway debut during New York Fashion Week

Kerry Justich
·2 min read

Ella Emhoff rose quickly to fame after being deemed a "style icon" at President Joe Biden's inauguration. Just shy of one month later, the 21-year-old Parsons School of Design student is living out her dreams on the runway.

The daughter of second gentlemen Doug Emhoff and ex-wife Kerstin Emhoff, and stepdaughter of Vice President Kamala Harris, made a surprise appearance at New York Fashion Week, where she strutted down the runway for Proenza Schouler. The American label's designers Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez say that Emhoff exudes the spirit of the brand.

"Having Ella be in the show was perfect for us because she represents this idea of a new beginning, a whole new chapter in American life and American culture," Hernandez told the Associated Press. "It’s the beginning of something new and fresh and optimistic and joyful and we wanted the clothes to have that feeling."

While Emhoff's Instagram showcases a lot of her own clothing designs, she admitted that she never anticipated being a model herself. "When I was younger, I never saw that as being part of my timeline," she told the New York Times. After signing with IMG models one week after her head-turning appearance at the U.S. Capitol, Emhoff seems to have gotten acclimated to the job. She even told the Times about her hope to use her growing platform to speak more openly about causes that she cares about.

Hernandez told AP that this is something that drew him to the young woman.

"The models that are interesting to us these days are not just faces. They’re faces that stand for something, that mean something. And she’s emblematic of this new generation of models and women, of fashion," he said. "Models have to stand for something, they have to have meaning. It can’t just be a beautiful girl standing there."

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