History’s first second gentleman, Doug Emhoff, also wore Ralph Lauren, while the new vice president wore a purple coat and dress by Christopher John Rogers, the up-and-coming American fashion designer who told Vanity Fair last year, “The people who initially reached out to me for interviews and pulled my stuff and actually used it were Black women. Black women understood why I didn’t shy away from color.” Harris, of course, will become the first Black woman to serve as vice president, as well as the first person of Asian descent.
Attending in her capacity as a former First Lady, Clinton wore purple, the color she also wore during her concession speech after losing the 2016 presidential election to Donald Trump. It is a color historically associated with nobility, an original color favored by the suffragettes, and perhaps most notably, a metaphor for bipartisanship—red and blue together.
Clinton was not the only former First Lady striking a bipartisan tone— Michelle Obama wore a purple Sergio Hudson alpaca sweater and pants with a cashmere coat and a signature Sergio Hudson belt from his FW20 collection. Hudson launched his namesake brand in 2014, establishing an aesthetic defined by immaculate tailoring and infusions of androgyny paired with sensual silhouettes.
Representative Barbara Lee
Lee—a California Democrat, and close ally of Harris’s—displayed a pearl necklace that once belonged to Shirley Chisholm, the congresswoman became the first Black woman to run for president in 1972. Harris is also fond of wearing pearls, partly due to the historical connection to her historically Black sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha.