Biden and Harris opt for American fashion designers for inauguration outfit

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Topline

President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris were inaugurated on Wednesday wearing outfits from Ralph Lauren and other American fashion designers, as were first lady spouses Jill Biden and Doug Emhoff, celebrating emerging and black talent of fashion after first lady Melania Trump relied more on foreign designers throughout her husband’s presidency.

Highlights

President Biden wears a navy suit and overcoat by Ralph Lauren, a departure from his predecessors who have traditionally opted for Brooks Brothers.

First Lady Jill Biden wears an “ocean blue tweed coat and dress” by emerging American designer Alexandra O’Neill’s Makarian brand, Biden’s transition, which O’Neill said in a statement, was blue to signal “confidence, confidence and stability.”

Emhoff also wears a Ralph Lauren suit.

Key context

The inaugural fashion choices follow former First Lady Michelle Obama’s frequent advocacy of emerging American designers during her time in the White House, including Hudson and Rogers. Melania Trump also wore Ralph Lauren at her husband’s inauguration in 2017 – which caused some backlash for the iconic designer – but often wore pieces from foreign designers as a number of American designers have moved away from the Trump administration. Biden’s decision to wear the Ralph Lauren brand could signal the new president’s “understated reliability and even predictability,” said menswear author Michael Zakim. Guardian.

Further reading

Biden’s plan to wear Ralph Lauren matches the sober, understated tone of the inauguration (The Guardian)

Jill Biden’s inauguration day coat signals a new beginning (InStyle)

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