As she stood with her hand on a treasured family Bible being sworn in as the first ever woman of color to become Vice President of the United States, Kamala Harris' purple Inauguration Day outfit sent an important and special message to Americans watching. Indeed, there was a special significance to the monochromatic look.
Vice President Harris wore a purple outfit created by two Black designers, Brooklyn-based Christopher John Rogers and Sergio Hudson of South Carolina, according to Marie Claire. The outfit was head to toe purple, and for a few good reasons. Along with white, purple was a color chosen by suffragettes in 1908, according to the National Park Service, to symbolize "the royal blood that flows in the veins of every suffragette, the instinct of freedom and dignity.” As the first woman to hold the office of vice president, this is especially significant today.
Purple is also a symbol of unity as it combines the red of the Republican party and blue of the Democratic party. After four deeply divisive years that have seen supporters on both sides pulled further apart than any other time in living memory, purple is really the perfect color for Harris on such a momentous day.
And she's not the only one spreading the subtle message of unity with her purple outfit on Inauguration Day. Other prominent women took up that gorgeous purple banner as a symbol of unity for the future, like former First Lady Michelle Obama who arrived in a stunning maroon pant suit, which was also reportedly designed by Hudson of South Carolina. That pant suit and the belt... I can't even.
And former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton wore head to toe purple as well, including a scarf and everything. This is not the first time Clinton has worn purple as a symbol of unity for the country; when giving her concession speech in 2016 after losing to President Donald Trump, she wore purple as did her husband President Bill Clinton. In the hopes that people would come together after the difficult 2016 election.
One of the more powerful messages both Vice President Harris and President Joe Biden have tried to spread throughout their campaign is the need to come back together as Americans. In his first speech as president-elect in November, according to CNBC, Biden said, "This is the time to heal in America. I will work to be a president who seeks not to divide but unify. I won’t see red states and blue states, I will always see the United States.”
The subtle symbolism of seeing blue and red come together in these purple outfits may just do the trick this time.