Why did Kamala Harris, Michelle Obama & Hillary Clinton wear shades of purple to the ceremony?


The US Vice President Kamala Harris, former First Lady Michelle Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton chose to wear different shades of purpose to the inauguration ceremony of President-elect Joe Biden to communicate a symbolic message.

Purple is created by the combination of red and blue, the colours which represent the Republican Party and Democratic Party respectively. Their choice of purple showcases integration of the two parties and presents the message of America being one nation, not separated by their political beliefs. They attempted to display unity, strength and solidarity.

Another reason could be that purple is the colour of the suffragette movement. A line from National Woman’s Party in the U.S. from their newsletter read, “Purple is the colour of loyalty, constancy to purpose, unswerving steadfastness to a cause. White, the emblem of purity, symbolized the quality of our purpose; and gold, the colour of light and life, is as the torch that guides our purpose, pure and unswerving.”

Purple also holds special significance for Harris as she is seen wearing various hues during her campaign for the presidency in 2019 to honour Shirley Chisholm, who often wore purple during her revolutionary campaign as the first Black woman to run for the presidency, inspiring and moving Harris to do the same.

Harris wore a matching shift dress and overcast by the young, upcoming and Black fashion designer Christopher John Rogers. Her iconic moment was fabricated with a sophisticated outfit paired with leather gloves and heeled pumps.

Hillary Clinton wore her staple pantsuit in a simple fashion. She had a blazer, trousers, a matching ruffled scarf and a darker shade overcoat. Her suit was designed by Ralph Lauren who had also made her a purple pantsuit in 2016 for her memorable concession speech.

Michelle Obama had the most distinct version of their purple trio. Her hue was plum and burgundy. She strutted beautifully with a turtleneck, wide-leg pants, and a matching cinched belt by Sergio Hudson, a renowned Black American designer who former President, Barack Obama has worn previously.

The three most influential women generated buzz and attention by choosing to wear the same colour. Their decision displayed their strength together and to stir up the entire media in a frenzy to breakdown contents of why they chose this colour.