Vice President Kamala Harris' stepdaughter Ella Emhoff is breaking into the modeling business. Just a week after rising as a major Inauguration Day 2021 fashion icon, thanks to her stunning Miu Miu coat, the 21-year-old has signed with IMG Models. Founded in 1987, IMG is one of the world's most premier agencies and sports an A-list roster of talent that includes Kate Moss and Gisele Bündchen.
Announcing the modeling deal, Ivan Bart, the president of IMG Models, told The New York Times, "it's not really about shape, size or gender anymore." Bart said Emhoff, the daughter of Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff and a senior at Parsons School of Design in New York City studying fine arts with a focus on textiles, "communicates this moment in time. There's a cheekiness and a joy she exudes." He added that when he saw her at the Jan. 20 swearing-in ceremony, he thought, "wow, she's communicating fashion."
While Emhoff caught the eye of Americans across the country with her Inauguration Day style, which had many dubbing her a "style icon," the 21-year-old had been on IMG's radar for some time. Bart said Emhoff first caught his eye at a fundraiser for Harris during the presidential primaries, explaining, "I noticed her as soon as she walked in the door." The two officially began discussing the possibility of her joining IGM last summer.
"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," Emhoff told The 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."
Emhoff said she is looking forward to having the opportunity to be part of the change occurring in the modeling industry as it allows for more diversity, quipping she has "really weird tattoos and kind of a funky haircut." The 21-year-old said she is also looking forward to using her platform to help others, Emohff stating, "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."
Emhoff is not the only Inauguration Day fashion icon to ink a deal with IGM. America's youth poet laureate Amanda Gorman, who awed the crowd with the delivery of her poem "The Hill We Climb," completed a deal with IMG Models Monday, CNN reported. As for Emhoff's start with IMG, Bart said, "we will be very careful and think strategically about opportunities that align with her position and aspirations," suggesting a fashion spread, a brand association, and a podcast as possibilities.