When Fashion and Politics Intersect: A Data Analysis of the Biden-Harris Inauguration

Julia Cohen

Overall, Kamala Harris generated a total MIV® of $19M for the three brands she wore across the Presidential Inauguration.

The United States Presidential Inauguration marked a poignant moment in American history, as President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and Dr. Jill Biden took to the U.S. Capitol. With millions of eyes on the trio, the opportunities for the fashion brands who dressed them were lucrative – and, the designers selected, spoke to the values and story of the Biden-Harris campaign thus far. It is clear by analyzing the data, that cultural and political moments like this now have a profound impact across not only the political sphere but a host of different industries. Often times, dressing a prominent figure for a notable event such as the Biden-Harris Inauguration can actually demonstrate higher value than hosting a fashion show, which is exemplified in today’s article.

When Fashion and Politics Intersect: A Data Analysis of the Biden-Harris Inauguration

There were two particular moments across the Presidential Inauguration that stood out when it came to the impact generated for fashion brands. On the eve of the inauguration, Kamala Harris opted for a camel coat by Pyer Moss, which was a considered and meaningful choice as the label is spearheaded by Black Haitian-American designer Kerby Jean-Raymond who “raised $50,000 in grants for minority and women-owned independent businesses who were hit hard during Covid.” Overall, Harris’ brief moment in this camel coat generated $3.9M in MIV® for the brand, an astounding figure when you compare it to the MIV® from their NYFW show. Pyer Moss’ SS20 presentation accumulated a total MIV® of $3.5M, which represented the full event coverage (pre, during, and post-event).

 

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On the same evening, Dr. Jill Biden opted for a purple ensemble by independent designer, Johnathan Cohen. Based in NYC, the namesake label has a strong focus on sustainability and responsibility in fashion and also represents the change in the industry (and the world in general) that so many consumers are demanding. This look generated $2.4M in MIV® for the fashion house.

Moving onto Inauguration Day, we saw that the MIV® generated by the trio more than doubled. The highest MIV® across the entire event was from Kamala Harris’ appearance in a bold blue outfit crafted by Christopher John Rogers. Once again, the Vice President opted to represent and amplify a young Black Designer who was also named as CFDA’s Emerging Designer of the Year in 2020. The choice by both Harris and Dr. Jill Biden to represent smaller designers also allowed the spotlight to shine on brands that may not receive as much recognition as larger, established, and internationally renowned fashion houses. Overall, Harris racked up $8.2M in MIV® for the label, which once again compared to Christopher John Rogers’ fashion show (just over $1M in MIV®) was highly impressive.

This shows that these dressing opportunities can actually outweigh the results of a traditional show format, which tends to also require more resources, allowing an increase in brand performance. Additionally, this perhaps indicates the wider shift of consumer values and interests. It is also notable to mention that during the Inaugural Concert that evening, Harris also drummed up $7.2M for Sergio Hudson who designed her dress of choice, showing the consistency of results during this particular timeframe.

 

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On Inauguration day, Dr. Jill Biden once again chose a smaller label to represent – independent fashion designer, Markarian. The bright blue color was picked to represent ‘trust, confidence, and stability’ further demonstrating fashion’s incorporation into political messaging rather than just visuals. Overall, she generated $5.8M in MIV® for the brand.

Finally, the man of the hour, President Joe Biden was dressed in iconic American Designer, Ralph Lauren which “embodies the American Dream and represented stability and patriotism.”  The suit was a classic, which fit well with the overall message he was trying to deliver, representing the importance of fashion choice and the message it sends during a momentous event such as this. Joe Biden accumulated $5M in MIV® for Ralph Lauren, a sizeable amount that speaks to the impact brands can have when they are able to embed themselves in a part of history, by dressing today’s most notable figures in a way that communicates intersectionally across fashion and politics.

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