Harris’s stepdaughter Ella Emhoff signs deal with IMG Models
Ella Emhoff, the 21-year-old stepdaughter of Vice President Harris, has inked a contract with one of the world’s most prestigious modeling agencies, IMG Models.
Ivan Bart, the president of IMG Models, spoke about the deal with The New York Times on Thursday, saying brands and consumers are becoming more attracted to authenticity.
“It’s not really about shape, size or gender any more,” Bart said. “Ella communicates this moment in time. There’s a cheekiness and a joy she exudes.”
Emhoff is currently a senior at Parsons School of Design in New York, where she is studying fine arts with a focus on textiles.
“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, which noted she has been modeling on and off for the past year with a smaller agent.
“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,” she said.
The deal comes one week after Emhoff went viral for the embellished Miu Miu coat she wore at her stepmother’s inauguration — making her an instant style icon.
However, Bart told the Times that he had been discussing the possibility of Emhoff joining the agency since the summer of 2020 after a fundraiser for Harris during the presidential primaries.
“I noticed her as soon as she walked in the door,” he said.
Emhoff said she was surprised by the internet reaction to her Jan. 20 look.
“I knew the coat would be a hit because I loved it so much, and I think that’s all that really mattered to me,” she said. “But I don’t think anyone expected the kerfuffle it caused on the internet.”
A designer herself, Emhoff frequently shows off her crocheted garments and colorful looks on Instagram, a platform where she now has more than 315,000 followers.
“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. … There are a lot of people out there that need a lot of help,” Emhoff told the Times. “If I can do anything to help with that, I want to, and I think this opportunity will be really beneficial toward that.”
Harris married her husband, Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff, in 2014. He had two children from his previous marriage with Kerstin Emhoff, who celebrated news of the deal on Twitter.
“Very proud (but nervous) MAMA! Ella will stay true to her cheeky self with all of our support,” she wrote.
Very proud (but nervous) MAMA! Ella will stay true to her cheeky self with all of our support. https://t.co/lkCqNpprPJ
— Kerstin Emhoff (@keprettybird) January 28, 2021
IMG currently represents high-profile models like Karlie Kloss and Ashley Graham. The group also signed another inauguration star to the agency this week — Amanda Gorman, who made headlines nationwide last week when she became the youngest known inaugural poet in U.S. history.