HARLINGEN, Texas (KVEO) — Vice President Kamala Harris showcased a stunning purple outfit on Inauguration Day. Even though she was dressed by two Black designers, her clothing was sewn by a Rio Grande Valley native.
Arturo Castaneda Contreras is from Heidelberg, Texas, which is part of the McAllen-Edinburg- Mission-Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Contreras also made the suit jacket, which Harris will wear later in the day, and dress.
“The designer on this is Christopher John Rogers, amazing designer. He has dressed Michelle Obama before, he has done a lot of people,” said Contreras. “Through my networks and friends we met and he asked if I could partner in this.”
“The real story is found with my mom. An immigrant to this nation that has not been the kindest. From the fields as a migrant worker family yo the halls of the White House.” – Arturo Castaneda Contreras
Contreras said Harris’ dress was patterned by his colleagues at Hips, a custom design company, but her coat and blazer were patterned by him and San Antonio del Coyote, who is from Mexico.
“We got the call two, three weeks ago. But, we were told like we need the jacket in three days, and then the dress in a day in a half,” said Contreras. “Then I got a call on Thursday from Rogers and he asked, Arturo can you make the jacket? And I’m like, what?”
Contreras said the team finished the project at midnight on Saturday.
“It’s typical for people that are a big deal, you know? It takes a village,” said Contreras.
Contreras said he was selected, along with his team, because of their craftsmanship and the work they have done with other big designers like Rogers.
Growing up in the Rio Grande Valley, Contreras tells the story of how his mother worked at a sweatshop and how his dream was always to dress a President, or in this case a Vice President.
“This story is really about my mom, we were labor workers. From the fields to the White House,” said Contreras.
Designers Rogers and Sergio Hudson, are from Louisiana and South Carolina.
Harris’ husband, Doug Emhoff, wore a Ralph Lauren suit.
Watch the complete interview here:
(Information from ValleyCentral.com)