Ella Emhoff - much more than 'just' Kamala Harris' step-daughter
Ella Emhoff reached fame thanks to her step-mother, Kamala Harris, becoming the Vice President of the United States. Emhoff has harnessed this fame to make her abilities shine.
Ella Emhoff spoke to Elle Magazine about just how surprised she is to find herself in the spotlight. The 22-year-old activist/model/artist/fashion designer recently became the face of Adidas by Stella McCartney.
The past year and a half have been a crazy whirlwind of fame for Emhoff, who never imagined that she would one day become a style icon because, as she told Elle Magazine, "I never saw myself as someone stylish, at all!"
And lately, Emhoff has been making headlines not only for her clothing style but rather for her grooming habits. In a recent episode of 'Good Morning Vogue,' Ella spoke up about how she has come to appreciate her unibrow. “When I was younger I would pluck my middle brow area, but I recently stopped and it’s amazing. I think everyone should just embrace their little unibrows.”
Declaring her love for the unibrow isn't surprising coming from Emhoff. She unabashedly shows off her natural body hair on her Instagram account and does not allow it to be edited out in fashion shoots.
Despite the fact that Ella Emhoff embraces her natural beauty and encourages others to do the same, she is still quite a traditional model. She is a tall, skinny white girl. That being said, we can't blame her for grabbing the bull by the horns and taking advantage of all the opportunities that have come her way with her newfound fame.
Fortunately, Ella Emhoff is very much focused on using her fame to try to make the world a better place. She seems quite committed to using her privileges to learn about the fashion industry and to try to reduce the environmental impact of fashion. In her interview with Elle Magazine in October 2021, Emhoff spoke about how working with sustainable fashion Stella McCartney has inspired her in her own work.
Emhoff told Elle, "It’s made me obsessed with researching materials... I try and source my yarns as sustainably as possible, whether it’s by going to outlets that are going to just throw away all their yarn, or working with other brands to get their excess yarn... It's made me think more resourcefully on the ways that I want to package things… It’s made me ask myself, “Is this cool ánd is this helpful?” It’s been a big influence."
So who is Ella Emhoff? And how did she end up becoming one of the most talked-about IMG models of 2021? Click on to learn more about Ella Emhoff's art, knit designs, her relationship with Kamala Harris, and more!
Ella was born in May of 1999 and is the daughter of U.S Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff and film producer Kerstin Emhoff. She has an older brother named Cole Emhoff, who we see here accompanying his sister on Inauguration Day. Ella and Cole's parents divorced in 2009, and in 2014, Doug Emhoff married Kamala Harris. With Kamala as her stepmother, Ella and her brother are members of the Second Family of the United States.
Even though Ella was a busy student, she made time to help her stepmother while she was on the campaign trail. This is a screenshot from the DNCC's live stream of the 2020 Democratic National Convention. Emhoff took the time to speak at the virtual convention in August of 2020.
On Inauguration Day, Ella let it be known that she was a Gen-Z fashionista by wearing a 'Miu Miu' houndstooth coat embellished with golden crystals. She wore the coat with a red Batsheva dress which she co-designed, and a black Loeffler Randall headband. Ella has a unique sense of style yet still knows how to dress for any occasion.
Although she is originally from Los Angeles, Ella seems to fit in just fine in New York City. The young, independent artist moved across the country in 2018 after graduating high school to begin her post-secondary education.
Ella studied at Parsons School of Design in New York City. She recently graduated from the school, having completed her studies on fine arts with a specialty in textiles. Emhoff is very active on Instagram, where she shares her unique and kooky knit designs.
Having received such positive feedback regarding her knit pants, Ella decided to use her popularity to help raise money for two different organizations: For the Gworls and The Okra Project, which both support the Black trans community.
Emhoff quickly sold all the raffle tickets she had and made a sizeable donation to both organizations. Pictured here, a pair of her popular knit pants that were being raffled off to support the charities.
Emhoff is also a talented painter. She posts images of her artwork on Instagram regularly, such as this one.
Looking through Ella's Instagram, you can certainly tell she was an art student! There are loads of creative and funny photos. Here, she chose a unique place to display one of her paintings, and we are feeling a bit of an Andy Warhol influence!
When asked about who her favorite artists and influences were, in an interview with 'Garage,' Ella said she was fond of "curated shops" such as the East Village's 'Café Forgot' because "they're highlighting so many artists that I had no idea about."
Perhaps she ran out of canvas and wool or just needed to try a new medium, but Ella began to dabble in self-tattooing during quarantine. In an interview with 'Garage', she stated that she had started to give herself tattoos and that it was really fun. Emhoff and friends also tattoo each other; in this picture, she shows off a new tattoo given to her by a friend.
On Ella Emhoff's Instagram, you can see the wide range of knit looks the young designer creates. Here she is modeling a pair of knit basketball-style shorts she created
In this photo, Ella shows off a hand-knit dress she made. Her creativity knows no end, and this Pearson student loves to model her creations.
Like many others, Ella used her time in quarantine to develop a new skill, in this case, crochet. She wrote on her Instagram account about how the technique had eluded her, but she finally figured it out.
Here, Emhoff models more crochet creations, a hat, and a bikini top. We love how she embodies body-positivity and isn't afraid to be herself.
Even though her main love affair is with knitwear, that is not all Emhoff wears. Here we see a stylish Ella in New York City, rocking a jean jacket, black skinny jeans, and cool black boots.
In January 2021, Emhoff was signed with IMG Models, known for representing some of the most talented models, such as Bella and Gigi Hadid. Her debut walking the runway was at New York Fashion Week, and she also participated in the cultural conversations event 'The Talks.'
One week after walking for the Proenza Schouler Fall/Winter 2021 collection, Ella made her first cover. 'Dust' magazine featured the model and designer on their spring '21 issue wearing one of her own knit sweaters.
Ella also attended the Miu Miu fall 2022 ready-to-wear show wearing an outfit by the Italian label.
Ella Emhoff caught the photographer's attention at Paris Fashion Week in March.
Being the stepdaughter of the Vice President of the United States has certainly aided the already talented Ella Emhoff. At just 22 years of age, the world is her oyster, and opportunity is knocking. We hope that this talented young woman continues to stay true to herself while developing her love for fashion and art.