Today, as Kamala Harris prepares to take the oath of office, many Americans across the country are showing their support for the Vice President-elect by donning her trademark accessories: Converse and pearls.
Ahead of the inauguration at 12 p.m. ET, #ChucksandPearls began trending on Twitter, while private groups called “Chucks and Pearls Day” and “Wear Pearls on Jan 20th, 2021” emerged on Facebook with more than 91,500 members and 453,600 members, respectively. A number of users on both platforms shared images and videos of their All-Star sneakers — some of which had their laces swapped for pearls and others who wore graphic shirts bearing the words “Chucks & Pearls.”
While pearls have long been worn by female politicians, Harris’ statement South Sea pearls has a backstory: She was spotted wearing the piece during her acceptance speech for the Democratic VP nomination, where she gave thanks to her family and friends, as well as the sorority she pledged in 1986. Her inauguration marks a watershed moment for Alpha Kappa Alpha — the nation’s oldest Black sorority, whose founders and incorporators are referred to as the “twenty pearls.”
As for her footwear of choice, Harris has been spotted multiple times on the campaign trail in the brand’s All-Star sneakers — and most recently on the controversial cover of Vogue, where she paired the shoes with a Donald Deal jacket and skinny jeans. Early last month, she even spoke about her affinity for the silhouette — as well as the importance of community, love and positive energy — during a visit to Social Status, James Whitner’s store in Charlotte, N.C. (Whitner said she even got to leave the shop with some pairs.)
At 12 p.m. ET, Harris will become the first female Vice President of the United States. The daughter of Jamaican and Indian immigrants, she will also be the first Black and first South Asian person to serve in the second-highest office. She will be sworn in by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who is the first woman of color and first Hispanic person to sit on the Supreme Court.