History was made in more ways than one on the opening day!
Sergio Hudson had a monumental day as a designer, dressing former first lady Michelle Obama for Joe Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday. But she also had the opportunity of a lifetime when she had the opportunity to design a look for Kamala Harris, who became the first female vice president.
For him Celebrate America Special, which took place in place of the Opening Ball that was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, Harris was seen in a black sequin cocktail dress with a black tuxedo. Hudson tells ET’s Nischelle Turner that it was an “amazing” and “emotional” moment for him.
“I have African American daughters, so working on this project meant more to me than I think I have,” says Hudson. “It made sense of what I do because sometimes when you’re in style, it’s perceived as frivolous and [like] we don’t really bring anything into the world. So when you show those moments like, ‘Look, we can be a part of this too’ and show my daughters that thanks to this woman, your dad participated in their celebration, it was amazing for me. “
However, Hudson reveals that Harris’s look had to be changed at the last minute from a full dress to a cocktail dress.
“They were going to have a little ball, and then I think when the insurrection happened they said, ‘Okay, we’re going to have to rethink things.’ So the dress was pretty much scrapped,” she admits. “So we had to rework it and figure it out. They cut it into a cocktail and the coat she wore is a different coat than the one we originally designed. We had to make sure we were being sensitive to the moment at home.”
“At the end of the day, I really wanted her to be into something fabulous, but you have to be aware of the position she’s in,” he continues. “And no one has had that position … I was thinking, what would the first vice president wear as an evening look? So we took the signature dress we made and made it with a liquid sequin,” we add. the glow to the already structured silhouette and it was like, OK, we’re just wearing something that she would normally wear. “
Also, for his inauguration, Harris wore a purple ensemble from another black designer, Christopher John Rogers.
As for Obama’s much-talked about merlot look, Hudson worked closely with the former first lady’s stylist, Meredith Koop, to come up with the perfect look for the event. People couldn’t get enough of the matching pantsuit, coat and belt.
“[Koop’s] A fan of the brand, so every time I post a new collection, she says, ‘Oh, this will be great for Mrs. Obama!’ “shares Hudson.” So this was actually inspired by a look from my Fall-20 Collection, with coat and sweater dress. So all we did was turn the dress into a sweater and made some high waisted baggy pants, which is like her signature. [look]. And she wore my signature belt and we spread the coat to the floor and that’s how we got to that moment. “
“It really was a true Sergio Hudson moment,” marvels the designer, adding: “When I see how a woman should dress, this is how I see them! Now she is almost a Sergio Hudson girl.”
Hudson also notes that his phone “exploded” after Obama stepped onto the Capitol balcony, adding: “I never dreamed it would be as big a moment as it has become. It’s like … crazy!”
For Hudson, who describes himself as someone from a “very, very small town,” he couldn’t be more honored and grateful for moments like these.
“I had to really dream big to be from this small town and dream of doing this, but I think that’s how I was raised,” she says. “Because my mom always told us that we could be who we wanted to be. I know that’s a cliche, but we believe it because she was being what she wanted to be and it was never a question if I could do what I’m doing now. There was always support. there and it was always, ‘You can do it, this is your destiny.’
“Even when I spoke to my mother yesterday, she was excited, of course, but it was more or less like, ‘I told you so,’ he says. “My goal as a designer, the biggest goal for me, is to make this brand an inherited brand. To become a great American sportswear designer. Those kids like me who don’t have the support can look at someone and make them see someone. who is my skin color and says I can do this too because we haven’t crossed that threshold yet. And I feel like if I can, I can make it easier for someone to come after me to do it too.
Watch the video below to see more memorable moments from Opening Day.