On Tuesday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer had a meeting at the White House with President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence. Their conversation was not only televised, but also, uh, to put it lightly, quite spirited; when Pelosi exited the West Wing with Schumer, an image of her — wearing a brick red, funnel-collared wool coat, sliding on a pair of sunglasses — as she approached a waiting press pool immediately went viral.
It was a moment that spawned a million a) memes, including one Instagram account handled, "@excellentcoatsonirritatedwomen," and b) requests from citizens asking where they could purchase said coat. One such civilian? Acclaimed "Moonlight" and "If Beale Street Could Talk" director Barry Jenkins, who tweeted: "Has anybody figured what coat this is she's wearing? I waited to ask this question, let the seriousness of the situation be properly discussed but... that color is LEGIT and we need to know this."
On Wednesday evening, Max Mara announced that the jacket in question was its "Fire Coat," which the Italian fashion house last sold in 2013. However, the coat drew so much attention that the Italian fashion brand confirmed to Fashionista that it will reissue it in 2019 in a range of colors, including in Pelosi's rust shade.
In a statement, Max Mara Creative Director Ian Griffiths said:
The FIRE COAT is a boule shaped coat with a funnel collar — which is very feminine — but it has a shoulder and sleeve that are cut quite sharply. So whilst the body is soft, the shoulders give it structure. That contrast between masculine and feminine gives it modernity. This coat was designed over 6 years ago; a good coat is a life companion so it should be designed not to date. Ms Pelosi wore this coat to the Presidential Inauguration in 2013, and again for her historic meeting at the White House in 2018, so it clearly means something to her. You develop an emotional relationship with a coat like nothing else in your wardrobe and Max Mara coats are much more than just clothes. They represent lasting values, they project personal strength and glamour. I can imagine why Ms Pelosi chose to wear the FIRE COAT for this important moment and I'm honoured.
And in a series of tweets, Jenkins went on to describe just why this coat became such a hot-button item so quickly: "And she knew exactly what she was doing wearing THIS coat on THIS day coming out of THAT room, placing THOSE shades on JUST so. This is diplomacy in motion, soft power wielded like a machete through the diligent, decisive act of dressing," he wrote. "They've never been JUST clothes."
Note: This post has been updated from its original version to include confirmation and comment from Max Mara.