Jill Biden wore an Oscar de la Renta dress to President-elect Joe Biden’s acceptance speech on Saturday.
The asymmetrical, floral dress cost $5,690, and it sold out in a matter of hours despite the high price tag.
Oscar de la Renta had a long love affair with first-lady fashion, as he designed outfits for Jackie Kennedy, Hillary Clinton, Laura Bush, and Michelle Obama.
Biden’s choice to wear the dress seems symbolic, as it indicates she’s getting ready to take her place as a first lady.
Future first lady Jill Biden may have made a subtle fashion statement at her husband President-elect Joe Biden’s victory speech on Saturday in Wilmington, Delaware.
Following the president-elect’s speech, the future first lady joined her husband onstage to greet his supporters in a dark-blue floral dress by Oscar de la Renta — a favorite designer of first ladies including Jacqueline Kennedy and Michelle Obama.
As the future president made history — Joe is just one of a handful of politicians to unseat an incumbent president in modern times — Jill may have been paying homage to former first ladies and showing that she’s ready to join their ranks with her choice of designer.
The dress is simple but modern, combining an asymmetrical hemline with floral embroidery. It made such an impression that, at the time of writing, the $5,690 garment has already sold out from Oscar de la Renta and The Outnet.
Jill paired the look with a coordinating face mask and red Jimmy Choo heels, according to Footwear News.
Oscar de la Renta has a history with first-lady fashion
Jill won’t be the first first lady to have worn Oscar de la Renta. In fact, the brand has a long history of dressing first ladies, as Oscar de la Renta made a name for himself by dressing Jacqueline Kennedy.
He famously designed the custom peach dress Kennedy wore on a trip to India in 1962, and the striking outfit led him to create outfits for first ladies for decades.
Over the years, de la Renta also designed outfits for Michelle Obama and Laura Bush, dressing first ladies for everything from state dinners to inaugural balls.
While Melania Trump does not appear to have worn clothes by the designer, Ivanka Trump has worn Oscar de la Renta on multiple occassions, including to her father’s inauguration in 2017 as Harper’s Bazaar reported.
De la Renta even became the “designer of choice” for Hillary Clinton and Nancy Reagan, according to Vanity Fair, solidifying his legacy as the fashion go-to for first ladies.
The future first lady’s dress could be meaningful for more reasons than one
Because of the brand’s long history with the role of the first lady, Jill’s choice to wear the designer at her first appearance after the election could be seen as symbolic. She not only nodded to the legacy first ladies before her left behind, but she also informally took her place as one of them with the garment.
In addition, both Garcia and Kim are immigrants — Kim was born in Korea and raised in Canada, while Garcia grew up in the Dominican Republic, according to The New York Times.
Jill’s choice to work with them arguably lies in stark contrast to the current president’s attitude towards immigrants, as President Trump has a history of making harmful policies and false claims about immigrants.
Others in the first family have caused a stir on the topic of immigration. Melania, who is an immigrant herself, notably wore a jacket with “I really don’t care, do u” written on the back to visit immigrant children held at a Texas border facility in 2018. Representatives for the first lady said the jacket had “no hidden message” at the time, but people found the piece insensitive and offensive.
Jill Biden has been hinting that she will make statements with her fashion
Jill’s victory speech dress isn’t the first time she’s made a statement through a fashion choice, indicating that might be a theme of her tenure as first lady.
For instance, in September 2020, she wore $695 Stuart Weitzman knee-high boots that had “vote” written down the side.
The boots raised money for the nonprofit I am voter, adding another layer to the message Jill sent by wearing them. They also became extremely popular after Jill wore them, almost selling out in the days after she was photographed wearing them.
Jill’s statement pieces seem to be part of a larger trend of political figures sending a message with their fashion choices.
Recently, Michelle Obama wore a gold necklace that spelled out “vote” to the Democratic National Convention, and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris nodded to the history of women’s suffrage with her all-white outfit for her victory speech on Saturday.
Only time will tell how Jill will make use of fashion when she officially becomes first lady, but it’s clear she’s already breaking tradition.
She plans to keep working during her husband’s presidency, which no other first lady has done in the 231-year history of the role. Jill has a bachelor’s degree, two master’s degrees, and a doctorate of education, and she worked as a professor throughout Joe’s tenure as vice president.
“She will really be bringing the role of first lady into the 21st century,” first-lady historian Katherine Jellison said of Jill in USA Today.
Representatives for Oscar de la Renta didn’t immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
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