The news comes days after Harvard grad and inaugural poet Amanda Gorman also signed with the prestigious modeling agency

By Kaitlyn Frey
January 28, 2021 04:10 PM
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Credit: Win McNamee/Getty

Ella Emhoff, stepdaughter of Vice President Kamala Harris and daughter of Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff, is breaking into the modeling business.

The 21-year-old, who is currently a senior at Parsons School of Design in New York City studying fine arts with a focus on textiles, landed a major modeling contract with one of the most prestigious agencies in the world: IMG Models. The agency's known to represent top supermodels including Gisele Bündchen, Gigi and Bella Hadid, Stephanie Seymour, Lily Aldridge and more.

"It's not really about shape, size or gender any more," said Ivan Bart, the president of IMG Models, told the New York Times. "Ella communicates this moment in time. There's a cheekiness and a joy she exudes."

Sen. Kamala Harris and Doug Emhoff with his children, Cole and Ella.
| Credit: Kamala Harris/Instagram

According to the New York Times, Emhoff caught Bart's eye "as soon as she walked in the door" during the presidential primaries over the summer. Shortly after, the two began discussing the idea of joining IMG Models.

"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. 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," Emhoff told the New York Times.

But she's looking forward to being a part of the change occurring in the modeling industry that allows for more diversity and authenticity, whether she shows herself through what she calls her "funky haircut" or "weird tattoos." (She has around 18 tattoos, many of which she "did herself during quarantine" adding that her parents "may not know" about all of them.)

"I pick and choose the times I want to show my style," she told the outlet.

Emhoff already caught the eye of the fashion industry when she arrived at the presidential inauguration wearing an embellished Miu Miu coat. And while she's excited to join the style sphere, she hopes she can "do some good" through this new platform. "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."

Emhoff's deal with IMG Models comes just days after poet Amanda Gorman, 22, also signed with the modeling agency after making waves with her powerful reading of "The Hill We Climb" during President Joe Biden's inauguration last week.

Poet Amanda Gorman reads "The Hill We Climb," which she wrote for Joe Biden's inauguration, on Wednesday at the U.S. Capitol.
| Credit: Alex Wong/Getty

According to the The Hollywood Reporter, the agency will focus on brand endorsements and editorial opportunities for the Harvard grad.

Model Gigi Hadid was quick to congratulate Gorman on joining the IMG family, posting the news to her Instagram Story with the caption, "WERK @AMANDASCGORMAN @IMGMODELS FAAAAAAM ! MAJOR."