Vice President Kamala Harris‘ stepdaughter, Ella Emhoff, ended this week with a bang by graduating from The New School’s Parsons School of Design on Friday, while her father and stepmother watched on.
The 22-year-old — who is the daughter of Harris’ husband, Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff, and Doug’s first wife, Kerstin — earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the New York City college, and is preparing to launch a career as a designer, having already made her mark on the fashion world with her own knitwear designs and a modeling contract with IMG Models.
Ella donned a traditional cap and gown for the ceremony, and was joined by her mother, her father, and her stepmother in New York City for the virtual commencement ceremony.
Congrats! Vice President Kamala Harris’ stepdaughter, Ella Emhoff, graduated from The New School’s Parsons School of Design today
Dressed up: Ella (pictured with boyfriend Sam Hine) wore a long, pleated black skirt, a white button-down, a black blazer, and a black tie, which she accessorized with black loafers
Graduate: The 22-year-old earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the New York City college
Not one to let a dowdy cap and gown wreck her style, Ella layered the commencement uniform over her own fashion-forward outfit.
A photo shared by her boyfriend, GQ senior associate editor Sam Hine, shows Ella in a long, pleated black skirt, a white button-down, a black blazer, and a black tie, which she accessorized with black loafers.
Another photo Sam shared shows Ella riding in a car in her chic outfit and sunglasses, checking her face out in her phone.
Though the ceremony was held online, Ella’s family turned up to support her in-person for her special day, with both the Vice President and Second Gentleman traveling from Washington, D.C. for the occasions.
Her dad proudly shared a photo of them posing together this afternoon.
‘My darling Ella, we are such proud parents!’ he wrote. ‘We love you so much, and are very much looking forward to all you do in the future. And, to the other Class of 2021 graduates out there, huge congratulations!’
Past Parsons graduates include Marc Jacobs, Tom Ford, Anna Sui, Narciso Rodriguez, Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez, Isaac Mizrahi, Derek Lam, Prabal Gurung, and Jenna Lyons.
Several other well-known people have taken courses there without obtaining degrees, including Nicky Hilton Rothschild, Bella Hadid, Sailor Brinkley Cook, Alexander Wang, Donna Karan, and Jason Wu.
‘My darling Ella, we are such proud parents!’ her father wrote (pictured hugging some of her classmates)
‘We love you so much, and are very much looking forward to all you do in the future,’ the second gentleman added (pictured with the Vice President and Ella’s brother Cole)
In student profile on Parsons’ website, Ella opened up a bit about what it was like to do virtual schooling during the pandemic.
She wrote that she had spent the year studying in an apartment she shares with roommates, and preferred to dress in athleisure for her Zoom classes.
She listed her favorite streaming service as Hulu, her go-to pandemic snack as hummus, and her favorite social media app as ‘none.’
Though she didn’t share exactly what her post graduation plans are, she wrote that she is most excited to start her career.
She also wrote that her best experience from college was ‘meeting my beautiful friends.’
Meanwhile, on Instagram, she said that she spent her last year of school ‘creating a collection of knitwear/crochet pieces in response to my adolescent diary and childhood photographs using excess yarn from the pants I was making.’
‘I will be expanding this collection during the summer with more vests, pants, headpieces, and hopefully sweaters (when I master the art of the sleeve),’ she said.
Pandemic school: Ella wrote that she spent the year studying in an apartment she shares with roommates and preferred to dress in athleisure for her Zoom classes
Ready to go! Though she didn’t share exactly what her post graduation plans are, she wrote that she is most excited to start her career
On Instagram, she said that she spent her last year of school ‘creating a collection of knitwear/crochet pieces in response to my adolescent diary and childhood photographs using excess yarn from the pants I was making’
Artistic: Fans who have followed Ella on Instagram are familiar with her sense of style, as well as the knitwear she sells online
Fans who have followed Ella on Instagram are familiar with her sense of style, as well as the knitwear she sells online.
‘I think the goal is definitely to have my own knitwear brand, label, whatever you call it,’ she told Garage. ‘Setting up a shop, most likely online of where I can just have a bunch of different pieces that I’m constantly creating and doing my commission-based work and having that all be in a shop.
‘I’d like to try and stay a one-woman show, but I think as stuff has started ramping up with my knitwear, it’s been harder. I’m only one woman, I can only make so many commissions while I’m also trying to just enjoy life.’
So far, she’s already worked on her own collaboration with Batsheva, whose designs she wore to the Inauguration in January.
To start off, they’ve released just three pieces for pre-order, including a $250 pastel crocheted vest, a $280 ruffle-trimmed corset, and a $150 kaleidoscopic bag at $150.
Each item will be made to order with an emphasis on reducing waste.
Big moment: Ella has certainly been enjoying her newfound status as a fashion favorite since taking the Inauguration by storm
Fancy! She wore mid-length bedazzled wool coat from Italian designer Miu Miu, estimated to cost about $4,950
Head-turning moment! The 22-year-old walked out with her brother Cole, 26, and quickly drew attention with her quirky sense of style
Ella pictured walking alongside her dad, her stepmother Kamala, Kamala’s niece Meena, and one of Meena’s daughters
‘I think we had a lot more similarities [than we realized], and it made this process so seamless,’ she told Vogue last month. ‘A lot of our personal design preferences are aligned. Having the bright colors I love mixed with her traditional silhouettes; it was kind of the perfect melding of styles.’
Ella has certainly been enjoying her newfound status as a fashion favorite since taking the Inauguration by storm.
For that occasion, she wore mid-length bedazzled wool coat from Italian designer Miu Miu, estimated to cost about $4,950.
Underneath, she later revealed she was wearing a burgundy tea dress from independent New York designer Batsheva Hay.
And hours before the inauguration, Ella posed for pictures at the Lincoln Memorial with her mom and brother while wearing a collared button-down-shirt with a patriotic red, white, and blue pleated skirt from Thom Browne’s Fall 2020 collection. She topped it all off with a chic long coat, a necktie, and a small hand-held bag.
Her looks quickly caused a stir in the fashion world, with Teen Vogue calling her the ‘cool girl’ of the Biden-Harris administration, Vice branding her a ‘slow fashion king,’ and British Vogue saying the coat was the ‘first viral moment’ of the new Presidency.
Hours before, Ella wowed in a preppy white shirt and tie tucked into a striped Thome Browne pleated skirt in the colors of the US flag as she posed with her mother and brother at the Lincoln Memorial on Instagram
Under her statement-making coat was a burgundy dress by designer Batsheva Hay
Ella is pictured with her mother, Emmy award-winning film producer Kerstin Emhoff
Later that month, it was announced that she had signed with IMG Models.
‘It’s not really about shape, size or gender any more,’ said Ivan Bart, the president of IMG Models. ‘Ella communicates this moment in time. There’s a cheekiness and a joy she exudes.’
He said his response to seeing her at the inauguration was: ‘Wow, she’s communicating fashion.’
Ella said the approach from Bart took her back, even though she had been dabbling in modeling for a smaller agent.
‘I was pretty surprised when everything with IMG was happening because when I was younger, I never saw that as being part of my timeline,’ she told The New York Times.
‘As someone who, like a lot of young girls out there, had self-confidence issues, it is intimidating and scary to go into this world that is hyper-focused on you and the body.’
On her way! Soon after the Inauguration, it was announced that she had signed with IMG Models
She said she was encouraged by the diversity of models working today, and the opportunity to be ‘part of that change.’
‘I’ve obviously got a bigger platform now, and I’m excited to share a lot of things I really care about, and do some good,’ she said, adding that she was ‘excited to do things like wear fun clothes’ and ‘to bring a bit of Bushwick into the high fashion realm’.
She also hopes to fundraise for knitwear artists, adding: ‘There are 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.’
Bart told the paper he noticed Ella at a fundraiser for Harris during the presidential primaries, and they began talking about the possibility of her joining IMG last summer.
She started booking work in no time, landing her first cover of Dust magazine in February.
That same month, she appeared in her first designer fashion show, storming the runway for Proenza Schouler in three different stylish looks.
Voila! In February, she appeared in her first designer fashion show, just three weeks after it was announced that she had signed with IMG Models
Model moment: She stormed the runway for Proenza Schouler in three different stylish looks
According to Proenza Schouler’s Instagram, Ella was styled by Brian Molloy, her hair — left in her natural curls — was done by Mustafa Yanaz, and her makeup was done by Diane Kendal
Pumped! Ella hasn’t said much about the big debut, only thanking the brand on Instagram with a heart
Busy week! She also participated in a Q&A with the designers on February 15
According to Vogue, the fashion show was actually filmed two weeks before the images debuted online, but everyone — including designers Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez — kept Ella’s involvement a secret.
Ella’s first outfit included oversized gray slacks with a matching, below-the-knee gray coat, which were accessorized with furry shoes and a large tote.
She also modeled a black leather trench, and then had the honor of closing the show in a slinky black suit, worn with a button fastened at the chest and her stomach exposed.
According to Proenza Schouler’s Instagram, Ella was styled by Brian Molloy, her hair — left in her natural curls — was done by Mustafa Yanaz, and her makeup was done by Diane Kendal.
‘Ella, meanwhile, wrote on Instagram: ‘Thank you thank you thank you @proenzaschouler, couldn’t have worked with a better duo <3.’
She also participated in a Q&A with the designers on February 15.