Wednesday was a huge day in fashion for designer Sergio Hudson. Although he has designed for major names in the past, dressing both the former First Lady and the new Vice President on such a monumental day in history is a major win.
On the latest episode of The Bakari Sellers Podcast, Sergio Hudson dives into his inspiration behind the Inauguration looks for Michelle Obama and Kamala Harris, his creative process, being black in fashion, and how to cultivate more black talent in the industry.
The excitement of inauguration was slightly overshadowed by the colorful fashion choices worn by both Michelle Obama and Vice President Kamala Harris. Between our forever FLOTUS’ cranberry ensemble and her bouncing curls, she completely stole the show. During the Bakari Sellers Podcast, Sergio explains where he got the concept for her outfit. “Well, it actually was inspired by a look from my Fall ’20 collection. It was a dress and a coat. And, her stylist, Meredith, liked the outfit and she was like, ‘Can we make it a little more for Mrs. Obama?’ And, we did the pants instead a dress, and we did the top as a sweater instead of a dress. And, it’s pretty much the exact same look and we dropped the coat to the floor just for a little bit more drama, and that’s how we got where we got.”
The process for creating VP Harris’ look wasn’t as simple. “We actually made a couple suits for her for the campaign trail. And we were connected with her team in that way. When they won and it was known that they were having an Inauguration, they gave us an opportunity to submit and they chose us to submit for the Ball that got cancelled. So, the outfit that she wore was actually for the Inaugural Ball that didn’t happen. The dress was supposed to be to the floor, and the coat was actually a different coat. It as like an opera coat that was a little more dramatic. Then, when the insurrection happened and all of that, they kind of definitely was like, ‘We’re not doing that.’ And, they planned what they did. So they cut the dress to cocktail and I had to make another coat in, like, two days,” he said.
Sergio is serious about his craft. What I learned from this podcast is that he is an extremely dedicated and detailed designer. For him it’s more about creative expression and less about money. For that reason, he is extremely selective on the projects he takes on. Orchestrating memorable style moments is his forte.
“I approach everything in the same way. It’s an initial consultation to see if we match because I don’t match with everybody. My idea of what fashion is, might not be your idea of fashion, or what you want to look like for that moment. And, I’m very selective of the opportunities that I take just because I don’t want to make something just for money and it ruin my reputation as a designer. So, that’s something that’s very important to me as a black designer, keeping my quality to a certain point. Growing up in South Carolina, my mom always taught me, ‘You have to be better. You have to be greater. You have to be more.’ So, I take that into everything I do. I anger a lot of stylists because they send me a sketch and I’m like, ‘I don’t make other people’s sketches. I don’t make other people’s ideas.’ I’m a designer and I need to be respected as such,” to told the podcast host.
Sergio dropped tons of gems on the podcast. You can listen to the episode here.