When it comes to daughters of powerful political figures in the U.S., there’s always an unspoken protocol to follow: have a polished public presence, be traditionally feminine, and don’t cause a scene. But for this administration, things are done differently. Since stealing the show at Joe Biden and Kamala Harris’ inauguration as President and Vice President of the United States, Kamala Harris’ 21-year-old stepdaughter Ella Emhoff has been stirring up major buzz. Turning heads, she arrived in a unique Miu Miu coat, a far cry from the traditional conservative attire for families of presidents and vice presidents. It wasn’t soon after the inauguration that she caught the eye of one of the most prestigious modeling agencies in the world, IMG Models.
Ella is in good company at IMG. The agency represents some of the biggest household names in fashion today: Gigi and Bella Hadid, Romee Strijd, Taylor Hill, and Ashley Graham, to name a few.
IMG President Ivan Bart says Ella had that special something that modern brands and its consumers crave: authenticity and spunk. He tells The New York Times, “It’s not really about shape, size or gender anymore.. Ella communicates this moment in time. There’s a cheekiness and joy she exudes.. she’s communicating fashion”.
A Native New Yorker, Ella Emhoff currently resides in Bushwick, Brooklyn, finishing up her textile design studies at Parsons School of Design. She showcases her personal style of bright colors, unique prints, and perfectly on-trend designs on her Instagram, @ellaemhoff. A fashion student, Ella is a strong proponent of sustainable fashion, a new movement in the industry to combat the unethical practices of fast fashion that have forever haunted the fashion industry. Through her Instagram, Ella encourages her audience to “shop small,” taking commissions for her handmade funky knitwear. Ella tells The New York Times in a phone interview that she is more than ready to “bring a bit of Bushwick into the high fashion realm”.
Ella also admits to the Times that she’s had a history of struggling with her image and self-confidence, something that is necessary for her followers of young impressionable men and women to hear. It’s inspiring to many teenagers that IMG sought out someone like her: an artsy NYC college student with tattoos and a vibrant spirit, who doesn’t hide her body hair. She sure isn’t cookie-cutter, exactly what makes her such a perfect fit for IMG and the world.
IMG and the fashion world’s embrace of Ella symbolizes a new era. She is not only a major influencer in the fashion world; with her new political platform, she’s become a voice for social change and activism. An ally of the LGBTQ+ community, Ella stirred up even more publicity on Twitter when she gave former Vice President Mike Pence, who’s had a controversial history with the queer community, a major side-eye at the Inauguration.
Ella Emhoff is a woman of her time: a high fashion model, an advocate for social change, and a young woman in the limelight of the political world using her platform for good. She tells The New York Times, “There’s a lot of people out there that need a lot of help.” If I can do anything to help with that, I want to, and I think this opportunity will be really beneficial toward that.” Watch out for Ella Emhoff, VALLEY has her on our radar.
Watch out for Ella Emhoff, VALLEY has her on our radar.