Madam Vice President Kamala Harris just became the first female and first Black and Asian vice president in the United States history. During the 46th inaugural ceremony, Mrs. Harris made sure to send a message to the world throughout her outfit selection. Wearing a coat and matching dress, created by Black, queer, Brooklyn-based, and Louisiana-born designer Christopher John Rogers, Harris chose purple as her preferred color for the occasion.
Purple, the result of combining the stability of blue and the energy of red, is known for representing royalty, nobility, luxury, power, and ambition. This graceful and elegant color is also associated with wisdom, dignity, grandeur, devotion, peace, pride, independence, and magic.
“I don’t think that wearing hot pink and ruffles or bright yellow, or a really intense blue in shapes that take up space make you any less intelligent,” the 27-year-old designer told NPR. “I don’t think that the way that you dress should make you sacrifice your personality or your point of view, or necessarily say anything about your intelligence.”
According to Rogers, his upbringing in the Southern Baptist church is a major inspiration for him; therefore is common to find bright colors and over-the-top pieces of clothing in his collections.
Besides her tailored outfit, the former senator and attorney general of California completed her look wearing jewelry from a Latinx designer. A custom made pearl necklace by Puerto Rican designer Wilfredo Rosado, known for being the former fashion director of Giorgio Armani.
“Kamala is someone I’ve been following since she threw her hat in the ring for president. I followed her in the debates, her line of questioning during the Brett Kavanaugh hearings [for the Supreme Court], and loved her strength. To have this opportunity was beyond exciting for me,” Rosado said, according to WWD.
As reported by the publication, Rosado collaborated with Harris’s stylist. The pair are trying to refresh pearls and introduce them to a more modern audience through Madam Vice President Kamala Harris. “I love to challenge the classics. The classics already exist, so it’s about how I can update them with new appeal,” the designer said.
The design includes 11.5-mm South Sea pearls surrounded by a halo of 18-karat gold and linked by diamonds. “I thought about a woman as the first female vice president elected, who is also a person of color — that’s history. I love her strength, there is a feminine aspect of it that made me want to add a bit of glamour to that moment, so there is a special movement to the necklace,” Rosado said about the creative process.
According to the designer, the necklace has a special meaning. “[The] chain link as a design to represent toughness and also fashion in a way. It looks very classic in terms of execution, but when you see it in person and the movement, it’s very glamorous but still tough. It’s a bold necklace, not a classic string of pearls,” he explained.
The Puerto Rican designer also said that fashion and politics always come hand in hand. “I don’t think what any female politician wears diminishes her power and intelligence and influence she has in this country and the world. If anything, it compliments and conveys the power she holds,” he said. “For me, this is beyond jewelry; this is beyond a necklace — this is history.”
The expert concluded, highlighting how hopeful he is of the new Biden-Harris administration, especially for Puerto Rico. “President-elect Biden has expressed his thoughts on Puerto Rico and possible statehood, allowing people to decide on that potential. The past administration was a travesty and gave terrible treatment to the Puerto Rican people; with this new administration, the future looks positive,” Rosado said.
Harris also wore an American flag lapel pin created by David Yurman.