L.A. Mayor Karen Bass suited up in Sergio Hudson for her inauguration on Sunday.
The first female mayor of Los Angeles, Bass was sworn in by the first female U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris, who introduced her as “Madame Mayor.”
The ceremony featured gospel duo Mary Mary, singer Chloe Bailey and poet Amanda Gorman, as well as Stevie Wonder, who performed “Keep Our Love Alive” and “Living for the City.”
For the occasion, Bass wore Hudson’s bright blue one-button blazer and skirt suit.
It was just the latest in a long line of power-dressing moves by the L.A. designer, who burst onto the national scene when former First Lady Michelle Obama wore his burgundy pantsuit to the inauguration of President Joe Biden in 2021. Hudson also dressed Harris in a black sequined cocktail dress and tuxedo overcoat for the inaugural ball.
Hudson said Bass already owned the pantsuit, and requested a skirt to wear to the event.
“I ran into someone who works for her recently while I was holiday shopping. We exchanged numbers and she reached out and said Karen wants to wear the suit, but she wants to wear a skirt,” Hudson said. “So I had my people in New York go through archives, we found the fabric and we made the skirt. My assistant flew it in the day before she wore it. It was a proud moment for me and my team.”
The wool gabardine suit was from a 2021 collection. “She’s a Democrat so of course she wanted to wear blue, but this was brighter, more tropical, to represent Southern California,” said Hudson. “L.A. has been very good to me, so I loved being able to do something to represent L.A.”
While many political women have chosen power pantsuits in recent years, Harris chose a skirt suit.
“It’s a pencil skirt but it’s not as tight,” said Hudson. “At this point we have a lot of experience making things for women in office, not just former first ladies, but women in power. They don’t want their clothes to be the first part of the conversation but they are women and they like fashion, so you have to give them a little something,” he said.
Asked why his brand appeals to female power players, he said, “It’s the stance we’ve taken on being an American sportswear brand and changing what that looks like. When people see my clothes, it represents a new generation of what’s here but also something they are familiar with. That’s why we’ve become a go-to.”
Bass defeated L.A. businessman and shopping mall magnate Rick Caruso in an election during which Caruso spent $100 million of his own funds.
At the inauguration, she described an “inflection point” in the history of a city hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic, a high cost of living, climate change and the homelessness crisis. But, she added, “L.A. magic is still here.”