Kamala Harris’ Stepdaughter Ella Emhoff Is Poised to Be the Modeling World’s Next It Girl

Vice President Kamala Harris’ stepdaughter, 21-year-old Ella Emhoff, is ready to take on the world of high fashion. She just became the newest client of IMG Models, along with poet Amanda Gorman.

By Lindsay Weinberg Jan 28, 2021 10:43 PMTags

From second daughter to supermodel! Ella Emhoff's chic Inauguration ensemble has caught the eye of none other than the prestigious modeling agency IMG Models. 

The stepdaughter of Vice President Kamala Harris, Ella made waves for donning a sparkling Miu Miu coat to her Momala's swearing in on Jan. 20.

Now, she's the newest face of IMG Models, the top-tier brand announced on Jan. 28. IMG also represents Gigi Hadid, Bella Hadid, Ashley Graham and Karlie Kloss, so she's in very good company.

"It's not really about shape, size or gender any more," said Ivan Bart, the president of IMG Models, to The New York Times. He said labels and consumers are attracted to authenticity above all else, which the 21-year-old artist appears to have in spades. He added, "Ella communicates this moment in time. There's a cheekiness and a joy she exudes."

She is a senior at New York's Parsons School of Design, studying fine arts and focusing on textiles, though she gained modeling experience over the past year.

Meet Vice President Kamala Harris' Family

Ella told the NYT, "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." She continued, "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."

Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Yet, she's drawn to the current movement within the modeling industry to improve inclusivity and diversity, and hopes to be "part of that change," noting she has "really weird tattoos and kind of a funky haircut" with her signature curly hair.

She said her family was "protective" of her and initially hesitant about the modeling deal, because of how "intense" the industry can be. But, "when they saw my interest in it and saw what is changing in that world... I think they're pretty excited I can be part of that."

The trendsetter has already updated her Insta bio to reflect her association with IMG.


Her chats with Ivan started during summer 2020, once the exec noticed Ella at a political fundraiser. They began talking about her potentially joining the modeling agency, and over Zoom, she showed him her loom and homemade knitting projects. 

Her 318,000 followers also got a look at her vibrant knitwear on her Instagram page, where she recently showed off a Tweety Bird bag, as well as a three-part matching set with a purse, bikini top and bucket hat in a neon green checkered print

Ivan admitted Ella really caught his attention at the Inauguration in Washington, D.C., as he thought, "Wow, she's communicating fashion."

He shared, "What she wore and who she was that day was in line with the person I met... That's why everyone noticed her."

For the historic event, she turned to celebrity stylists Jill Lincoln and Jordan Johnson, who have worked with such stars as Jennifer Lawrence, Rachel Brosnahan, Margaret Qualley and Kiernan Shipka.


The fashion duo told E! News after the 2021 Presidential Inauguration, "We had a feeling she would get some attention because she has a very specific look and aura, and would stand out whether wearing jeans and a tee, or a neon ball gown."

They proved to be rather clairvoyant by predicting Ella's success in the fashion world, saying, "Her talent and creativity knows no limits. In the short time that we have been acquainted, our takeaway is that it would be a disservice to the world for her to not show everyone what she is capable of inclusive of and beyond fashion."

As Ella put it, "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... But I don't think anyone expected the kerfuffle it caused on the internet."

Hers isn't the only signing to come out of Inauguration Day. As previously announced, poet Amanda Gorman also inked a contract with IMG Models. Gigi even gave the performer a very enthusiastic shoutout on her Instagram Story, writing, "WERK," "FAAAAAM" and "MAJOR." 

It seems the modeling industry is ready for the shakeup. 

Peacock is live now! Check out NBCU's streaming service here.