After days of counting, waiting and protesting (and a roller coaster of emotions in between), the 2020 Presidential Election was called on Saturday, with Joe Biden projected to win 279 Electoral College votes and become the 46th President of the United States. That night, the President-Elect joined Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris at a drive-in rally in Wilmington, Delaware, where they addressed the country about their historic victory and their plans for their administration.
It was a momentous appearance for the Vice President-Elect, in particular, who will become the first female, first Black and first South Asian person to hold the position. And the optics of it were not lost on Harris, who used fashion to not only reference the barriers being broken that evening, but also to represent American designers.
Harris stepped out on stage wearing a white suit by Carolina Herrera, designed by Wes Gordon, styled with an ivory silk blouse underneath. Fashion historian Shelby Ivey Christie pointed out on Twitter how "monochromatic dressing is the mark of celebration in the Black community," linking back to a previous thread she wrote on the topic. The color the Vice President-Elect chose for the occasion, meanwhile, was a nod to the U.S. women's suffrage movement and the 19th Amendment, which celebrated its 100th anniversary this year and which she acknowledged in her address to the nation.
"All the women who worked to secure and protect the right to vote for over a century: One hundred years ago with the 19th Amendment, 55 years ago with the Voting Rights Act, and now, in 2020, with a new generation of women in our country who cast their ballots and continued the fight for their fundamental right to vote and be heard," the Vice President-Elect said, in her speech. "Tonight, I reflect on their struggle, their determination and the strength of their vision — to see what can be unburdened by what has been — I stand on their shoulders."
Carolina Herrera creative director Gordon reposted an image of Harris backstage, taken by her niece, Meena Harris, on Instagram, with three hearts — one red, one white, one blue.
After President-Elect Biden finished his remarks (which you can watch in full here), future First Lady Dr. Jill Biden joined him on stage, wearing a short-sleeved navy dress with an asymmetric hemline and floral embroidery by Oscar de la Renta — another renowned American fashion brand.
Her look was designed by Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim, both designers who were born and raised outside of the U.S. and rose up the ranks at the American fashion house they now lead. (The co-creative directors posted about it on their personal Instagram pages.) House founder De la Renta outfitted many First Ladies throughout his career, from Nancy Reagan to Hillary Clinton.
"Jill's a mom — a military mom — and an educator. She has dedicated her life to education, but teaching isn't just what she does — it's who she is," the President-Elect said of his wife, in his speech. "For America's educators, this is a great day: You're going to have one of your own in the White House, and Jill is going to make a great First Lady."