Faces Behind Black Fashion and Iconic Moments at the 2021 Inauguration


Vice President Kamala Harris is sworn in wearing a coat and dress designed by Louisiana native Christopher John Rogers.

Black fashion designers played a big role in creating iconic and unforgettable looks at the 2021 Inauguration.

“When it comes to inauguration events, black designers have been almost exclusively absent, so it was nice to discover that the fabulous outfits [were] created by black designers,” said Ronda Racha Penrice in The Guardian’s news article.

 Kamala Harris was sworn in as the first woman, African American, and South Asian vice president wearing Christopher John Rogers. Born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Rogers’ parents enrolled him in art school at a young age. He was often inspired by the diverse culture he grew up around. 

“Experimenting with proportions of color on the human form, encouraging people to take up space, and realizing that these shapes we’re creating are kinetic forms that are always interacting with the body continues to keep me interested in this medium,” said Rogers in an InStyle interview in 2018.

 Rogers made a name for himself when he started styling A-list celebrities, including Tanya Taylor, Rosie Assoulin, SZA, Cardi B, and Chris Benz. The iconic purple look Vice President Harris donned at the Inauguration was inspired by the first Black woman to run for presidency in 1972, Shirley Chisholm, who was known for wearing purple during her campaign. The quintessential pearls accessorized by Rogers paid homage to her sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha. The overall goal of the Inauguration day look was for Harris to look flawless and acknowledge young Black designers.

On the night of the Inauguration at the Lincoln Memorial Ceremony, Harris sported a long black blazer with a black cocktail dress by Sergio Hudson.


Michelle Obama wears a monochromatic burgundy/plum look with black accents designed by Sergio Hudson.

Hudson is also the designer responsible for Michelle Obama’s fierce Inauguration fit. The former First Lady stepped into the event wearing a monochrome burgundy ensemble with a turtleneck sweater, wide leg pants, a gold buckle statement belt, a full length coat, and suede boots. To add contrast, the Obamas wore black leather gloves and black Christy Rilling silk masks. 

Fashion designer Hudson was born in Columbia, South Carolina, and like Rogers knew he wanted a career in fashion at a young age. With Hudson’s mom being a tailor, he started by designing dresses and gowns for her clients. In 2013, Hudson was a contestant on Bravo’s reality fashion competition show, “Styled to Rock,” produced by Rihanna.

After getting recognition for his art, he soon began to style and design custom pieces for Miley Cyrus and Pharell Williams. A year later, he launched his collection and Michelle Obama wore a belted jumpsuit similar to the one at the Inauguration. After Mrs. Obama wore his collection, Meredith Koop, Obama’s stylists contacted him to collaborate on outfits for her book tour. Building this connection with Mrs. Obama allowed her to see his talents from the beginning and created a personal relationship that made collaborations very easy. This incredible look that broke the internet will be unforgettable thanks to Hudson.

Another item that struck up a conversation on the internet were the $2,000 Christian Dior Air Jordans 1’s worn by Kamala’s nephew-in-law, Nikolas Ajagu. These shoes have an average resale price of $8,185 according to StockX. Twitter went crazy after the television caught him walking down the steps while Senator Amy Klobuchar was speaking. After trending on Twitter for the iconic shoes, Ajagu was deemed the head of the “Department of Drip.”








The Inauguration introduced amazing opportunities for designers like Sergio Hudson and Christopher John Rogers, and hopefully has inspired other aspiring fashion designers to know they can style the Vice President and First Lady no matter what their childhood looks like.