Amanda Gorman was an international success before Joe Biden was inaugurated as the 46th President of the United States. But when she stepped up to that podium and read her poem “The Hill We Climb,” she joined the ranks of historic figures like Maya Angelou and Robert Frost. Her canary yellow Prada trench coat, red Prada headband, and magnetic presence also caught the attention of the fashion industry, in which she has become a bona fide style icon.
According to the Los Angeles Times, a third-grade teacher drew Gorman’s attention to poetry through Ray Bradbury’s poem “Dandelion Wine,” and the rest was history. She began journaling everyday and conquered a speech impediment to perform her poetry aloud. Her work quickly captured academic attention for its revelatory sentiments regarding race, feminism, and the ongoing battle for civil rights. By the time she was 16, she had been named the Youth Poet Laureate of Los Angeles in 2014, and just one year later published her first poetry collection entitled, The One for Whom Food Is Not Enough. She later attended Harvard University to study sociology and while studying was named the first National Youth Poet Laureate in the United States.
With a backstory like this it comes as no surprise that at the age of just 22, Gorman was asked to write a poem that would encapsulate the Biden presidency. She was also asked to write a poem in honor of three Americans receiving captain titles for their service during the pandemic at this year’s Super Bowl. During both performances she silenced live crowds with awe and captivated fashion’s elite watching at home. The combination of Gorman’s poetry and Prada reflects the growing importance of purpose-driven public figures in the fashion space, as many designers turn towards changemakers for campaigns and collaborations.