Amanda Gorman signs modeling contract after star turn at inauguration

<span>Photograph: Alex Wong/Getty Images</span>
Photograph: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Amanda Gorman, whose performance of her poem The Hill We Climb during Joe Biden’s presidential inauguration drew widespread praise, has signed to IMG Models, the same agency as Gigi and Bella Hadid.

The 22-year-old US national youth poet laureate, has already become a fashion sensation. The red satin Prada headband she wore during the inauguration ceremony led to the item selling out, while her yellow coat (also Prada) caused searches for “yellow coats” to increase 1,328% (according to fashion search engine Lyst) in the wake of her appearance.

Related: How Amanda Gorman became the voice of a new American era

“I’m a black woman with a powerful pen and a big heart, and I like my look to reflect that pride,” Gorman told Harper’s Bazaar, speaking about her love of style. She told the magazine she loves “loud, regal-looking dresses embroidered with flowers – a nod, I think, to my Afro-flower-child upbringing in Los Angeles. I’m also a fan of Victor Glemaud’s super stylish and comfy knitwear.”

The signing of Gorman is seen as a shrewd one by fashion insiders. As labels struggle to adapt to the changes in the fashion industry as a result of the pandemic, Generation Z shoppers are disengaging with fashion labels who do not reflect their own social, political and environmental concerns.

Gorman, who founded the charity One Pen, One Page, which supports underprivileged young people through writing, is perfectly poised to be the face of a fashion label that would want to do more than sell a piece of clothing, but to connect on a deeper level with its customers.

Earlier this month tennis player Naomi Osaka, who publicly made a stand against police brutality and racial injustice through her choice of face masks during tennis matches, became the face of Louis Vuitton. “[She] represents her generation and is also a role model for everyone. Her career and convictions are inspiring,” said Vuitton’s creative director, Nicolas Ghesquière, in a statement.

At IMG Models, which also represents Kate Moss, Cara Delevingne and Ashley Graham, Gorman will “be represented by the modelling agency for brand endorsements and other fashion-adjacent opportunities”, according to the industry publication The Business of Fashion. The appointment was praised by Gigi Hadid, who wrote in Instagram stories: “Werk @amandasgorman @imgmodels faaaaam! Major.”