First Lady Jill Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris Choose American Designers

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Rosemary Feitelberg
·3 min read
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AMERICAN SPIRIT: President Joe Biden reminded the world Wednesday night that America is back while addressing the joint session of Congress in the U.S. Capitol Wednesday night.

True to his all-about-America speech, First Lady Jill Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris each chose American designers — Gabriela Hearst and Prabal Gurung, respectively.

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President Biden said at one point, “After 100 days of rescue and renewal, America is ready for takeoff. We are working again. Dreaming again. Discovering again. Leading the world again. We have shown each other and the world: There is no quit in America.”

Biden also spoke of the American Rescue Plan and plans for The American Jobs Plan. Biden said $1,400 rescue checks were being sent to 85 percent of American households and touted about exceeding the goal of 100 million vaccine shots in 100 days with a tally of 220 million. The president also urged, “Let’s also pass the $15 minimum wage.”

He said, “The American Jobs Plan will be guided by one principle, ‘Buy American.’ American tax dollars are going to be used to buy American products made in America that create American jobs. The way it should be.”

Harris applauded that directive, and numerous others that the president made. Although she and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi were seated behind the him, the two were often on their feet applauding during his remarks.

The first lady wore a navy upcycled silk wool cady dress with embroidery that was reflective of the federal flowers of every state, territory and the District of Columbia. They were created by Hearst, who is a champion of sustainability and New York’s Garment District. The designer, who is also the creative director of Chloé, dressed the first lady on inauguration night. During the presidential campaign, she also pitched in to help rally voters.

Harris wore a hand-tailored double crepe pantsuit with an ivory-colored silk charmeuse camisole made by Gurung. The designer declined to comment Wednesday night. The ensemble was entirely made in his New York City atelier. Gurung posted the news Wednesday night with a photo of Harris to his 219,000 Twitter followers and noted “designed for powerful moments in history.”

He said in a statement, “To see Madam Vice President continue to break barriers while wearing Prabal Gurung fills me with tremendous gratitude. A fellow child of immigrants and the first female, Black and South Asian vice president, her vision inspires me. As an American designer, I am so honored to be part of this historical moment. With Madam Vice President leading us to a better future, I am reenergized in my mission to advocate for stronger representation.”

Harris has worn Gurung’s designs for other key appearances including the inaugural prayer service earlier this year and the Democratic National Convention last summer. Like Hearst, Gurung was born in another country and built his own company in the U.S.

See Also:

Prabal Gurung Talks Dressing Kamala Harris and Fulfilling the American Dream

Kamala Harris’ Tuxedo and Jill Biden’s Embroidered Dress Send Messages

Fashion Industry Celebrates Biden, Harris Inauguration

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