Senator Kamala Harris wore casual styles for a mid-September trip to survey wildfire damage in California with Governor Gavin Newsom.
This was the senator’s first trip to her home state of California since being selected as the Democratic party’s vice-presidential candidate. Fires in California “have blackened 4.1 million acres this year” according to Scientific American.
The pair viewed damage at an area inside the Sierra National Forest. Thirty-one people have died as a result of the fires, four of them firefighters.
As of November 3rd, there are 4100 firefighters battling 22 wildfires in the state, per the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
We now make the difficult turn to our coverage of what the Senator wore for the September fire assessment.
Ms. Harris was in jeans, a white tee-shirt or top, utility jacket, and Timberland boots. The utility jacket looks like it is a Sônia Bogner design, a line from skiing & lifestyle brand Bogner. It is a piece she has worn several times over the years.
The olive or khaki green jacket is hip-length with a stand collar, side vents, pleated back, slanted front patch pockets with gold zipper detailing, back elastic-gathered waist, and gold snaps. The style is several years old and no longer available. More about Sônia Bogner from this Women’s Wear Daily piece:
Shoulder-to-shoulder with her husband Willy, a two-time Olympic skier, Bogner, 66, helped to build upon the Munich-based skiwear and sportswear company that his family started in 1932.
Fluent in five languages — Portuguese, English, French, Italian and German — she was an easy conversationalist and encouraged and promoted a work-life balance. She was credited with infusing a well-received sense of urban modernity to the otherwise sporty Bogner style.
Ms. Harris wore her gold beaded necklace and earrings that I believe are the Marco Bicego ‘Paradise’ Teardrop Studs ($955).
The lightweight boot has eight eyelets for the brand’s leather laces, a padded collar, athletic-style sole, and interior padding made with 50% recycled plastic bottles. The leather is “from a tannery rated gold or silver for environmental responsibility by the Leather Working Group, a multi-stakeholder auditing group.”
The senator has worn the boots several times. Below, the candidate with farmer Matt Russell at an August 2019 campaign stop in Iowa.
The boots caused quite a sensation on social media. The candidate’s niece, Meena Harris, shared a GIF of the Senator as she exited a plane in the footwear.
And they generated discussion online. More from DeMicia Inman writing in The Grio in a story titled Kamala Harris’ Timberland boots generate social media reaction.
Harris paired the boots with a simple white T-shirt, an army green utility jacket, dark denim jeans, and a Black facemask, sparking an array of responses on social media.
While private Facebook groups for Howard alumni were mostly supportive of her style choices, other social networks offered critiques.
Refinery 29’s Eliza Huber wrote that Kamala Harris’ Timberlands-Pearls Combo Has Our Vote.
Not only did Harris don what few other politicians would dare, but she also paired the utilitarian boots with a pearl necklace — another one of her signature fashion items. The latter has, interestingly, become one of 2020’s most talked-about fashion trends.
Brooke Leigh-Howard wrote a Daily Beast piece titled, Kamala Harris Loves Her Timberlands. As a Black Woman, I Share Her Devotion.
Timberland boots have come to be an emblem of the Black community, and this week—after a much-buzzed-about photograph of her stepping off a plane in California—vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris has owned that statement.
She was sure to take that cultural icon with her while conducting political, grassroots work, inspecting a site of the recent, devastating wildfires. It was as if she was letting the Black community know that she stands with them, and has not forgotten who she is or where she came from. On the flipside, she was reminding the entire nation that it’s OK to be Black, that it’s OK to not assimilate into “white” America.
Seeing Senator Harris step off that plane wearing a pair of Timbs brought so much pride to me as a Black woman. Besides the obvious political message—this was a woman prepared for the physical side of the wildfire chaos—it also showed how comfortable she is in her own skin.
While a Yahoo Finance story by Brian Sozzi made the case that Kamala Harris May Have Made Timberland Boots Cool Again.
What better validation of Timberland ruggedness — mixed with comfort — than Harris’ entire day in them. And what better signal to shoppers that Timbs could be cool again — maybe not early ‘90s cool — but cool now that Harris is wearing a sneaker-like version of the iconic footwear.
“It [the attention from Kamala] could provide some boost. We’ve seen that already from her wearing her Converse Chuck Taylors, and that’s evident in the Google Trends search data. I haven’t seen the same Google Trends lift on “Timberland” yet but it’s still early,” Pivotal Research Group senior research analyst Mitch Kummetz told Yahoo Finance.
The style is no longer available in the wheat-colored leather worn by Ms. Harris.