Vice President Kamala Harris’ 21-year-old stepdaughter Ella Emhoff has signed a deal with one of the world’s most prestigious modeling agencies, IMG Models.
“It’s not really about shape, size or gender any more,” Ivan Bart, the president of IMG Models, told the New York Times on Thursday. “Ella communicates this moment in time. There’s a cheekiness and a joy she exudes.”
The report added that Emhoff is currently a senior at Parsons School of Design in New York, where she studies fine arts with a focus on textiles — and the importance of brand ambassadors for marketing products.
“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 said to the Times.
“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 added.
Harris’ stepdaughter added that she changed her mind about modeling after seeing that the industry has gotten more diverse — that she would like to be “part of that change,” as an artist with “really weird tattoos and kind of a funky haircut.”
Bart said he first become aware of Emhoff at a fundraiser for Harris during the 2020 presidential primaries.
“I noticed her as soon as she walked in the door,” he said.
That summer, Emhoff started talking to Bart about the possibility of joining IMG. They had a Zoom call, and she showed him her textiles and knitwear pieces.
The report also notes that Emhoff posts Instagram selfies that show off “her armpit hair and cartoonish tattoos, which include eggs and bacon in the shape of a smiley face and a cow.”
Emhoff, who has reached more than 319,000 followers on Instagram, also posts about her knitting projects and shows off her brightly colored crocheted clothing.
“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,” she said. While she is “excited to do things like wear fun clothes” and be part of the fashion world “to bring a bit of Bushwick into the high fashion realm,” she also wants to do some knitwear fundraising.
“There are a lot of people out there that need a lot of help,” she said. “If I can do anything to help with that, I want to, and I think this opportunity will be really beneficial toward that.”