Is white Kamala Harris' fashion statement? Melania and Ivanka Trump have rocked the 'feminist' color for years
'A female leader's style and fashion choices will often be analyzed. This can present an opportunity to send a loud message without saying anything at all — something that Kamala has nailed'
While Vice President Kamala Harris was touted by fashion experts as well as her fans for wearing white to a number of crucial events, one of them being to the ceremony at the Chase Center on November 7, 2020, in Wilmington, Delaware, where she delivered her victory speech, she was far from being the one to start the tradition or even carry it forward in recent times.
White has traditionally been worn by a number of female world leaders and other distinguished politicians to pay tribute to the Suffragette movement in the early 1900s, which secured the right to vote for women at a time when only men were allowed a say in the democratic process. The color was particularly significant as it was easily accessible to women across all strata of society and as most of them had white clothing in their wardrobes.
As a result, women activists wore head-to-toe white attires to signal their allegiance to the cause. Particularly, in March 1913, more than 8,000 suffragists wore white to parade down Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington DC.
As a result, when Harris wore it to mark her speech as the first woman, the first woman of color as well as the first woman of Asian-descent to hold the second-highest office in the land, it was met with cheers and praise. However, it is important to remember that two of the former occupants of the Trump presidency also wore white on a number of occasions in the past four years.
Katie Eastwood, Stylist Ambassador at Stitch Fix UK, told Express: "Unlike their male counterparts, a female leader’s style and fashion choices will often be analyzed, even when there is no statement to be made. This can, in turn, present an opportunity to send a loud message without saying anything at all — something that Kamala has nailed."
"White is a crucial color in feminism and is often the color of choice amongst female politicians as a nod to the suffragettes who wore white in the early 20th century in the fight for women’s votes to be recognized. Women have been wearing white throughout Trump’s presidency as a feminist statement, so when Kamala Harris walked out in a white suit at the victory party, it was no accident," Eastwood added.
Melania wore white on a number of important occasions during Donald Trump's presidency, including a flowing white one-shoulder gown on his election night event. She also wore a white gown for the Liberty Ball ahead of his first day in office.
Similarly, the former president's oldest daughter evoked the imagery of the Suffragettes during her father's campaign and presidency. She was seen wearing white to see her father sworn into office and also other events during her tenure as senior advisor to the president.
To this day, the color is donned to make a powerful statement. Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) wore white for her first day in Congress in 2019. Later she wrote on Twitter: "I wore all-white today to honor [sic] the women who paved the path before me, and for all the women yet to come. From suffragettes to Shirley Chisholm, I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the mothers of the movement."
I wore all-white today to honor the women who paved the path before me, and for all the women yet to come.— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) January 4, 2019
From suffragettes to Shirley Chisholm, I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the mothers of the movement. ⬇️ https://t.co/GBfSSYxbek