Ella Emhoff’s 'life has changed' after the inauguration: 'I wasn't expecting this'

Kerry Justich
·2 min read

Ella Emhoff, the 21-year-old stepdaughter of Vice President Kamala Harris, is reflecting on her rise to notoriety, sharing in an episode of Good Morning Vogue that she "wasn't expecting" to be deemed a "style icon" at President Joe Biden's Inauguration.

"The past month has been pretty crazy," the Parsons School of Design student said in conversation with two of her friends. "S***'s different. It’s definitely different and it’s really easy to deny it."

While the rapid success of the young woman — who was signed to IMG Models and appeared on the runway for Proenza Schouler at New York Fashion Week within weeks of the inauguration — isn't hard to see, it still feels like a dream to those closest to her.

Emhoff made her runway debut at NYFW in February 2021. (Photo: Getty Images)
Emhoff made her runway debut at NYFW in February 2021. (Photo: Getty Images)

"I remember a few days before the inauguration, we were talking about what you were going to wear and we were very excited, and I was joking that you’re going to become a style icon," one friend recalled. "For me what was so stark was going online and realizing, oh people are asking what she’s wearing. People care. Like people that we care about care," Emhoff's other friend added.

What caught the nation's attention was a plaid coat by Miu Miu with a white collar that Emhoff styled so flawlessly with a headband and a pair of circle glasses. But the infatuation didn't stop there. In fact, people started turning to Emhoff's public Instagram account to take a deeper look into her vibrant style, including the colorful pieces that she's designed herself.

"I think life really did a 180. Obviously things are changing, life has changed. There’s a lot more people involved in my life now," Emhoff said in the Vogue video.

But even despite the many distractions, Emhoff remains focused on her goals, looking to graduate from Parsons before designing full time. She even shared with designer Batsheva Hay — who designed the dress that Emhoff wore under her Miu Miu coat — that she's set on doing so without getting caught up in the habit of comparing herself to others on a similar path.

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"My therapist always says, ‘compare and despair,'" Emhoff said. "It’s one of those things that’s like, just comparing yourself, even if it’s a good comparison, at a certain point it might just cause you a lot of pain and just overthinking that is just not necessary."

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