Nikki Haley: a (fashion) force to be reckoned with

As the US Ambassador to the United Nations, what former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley is wearing gets noticed. Our fashion editor Gail Day reviews some of her most impressive fashion power plays.

Nikki Haley

Famously hard working and ambitious, in the last year and a half Nikki Haley has risen to the top tier of the American political scene. She the current US Ambassador to the United Nations, and some are speculating that she may be promoted to Secretary of State before long. And, depending on who you ask, a possible front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024.

But long before making strides in the world of politics, Haley had to learn to understand the intricacies that came with her heritage. Nimrata “Nikki” Randawha was born in South Carolina to parents originally from Punjab, India. At the age of four, the young Haley entered a beauty pageant but was disqualified as she was neither black nor white.

Years later, after successfully being elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives, Haley announced her bid to run for Governor of South Carolina in the 2010 election. Following a surprise endorsement by Sarah Palin, Haley came in first place in the initial Republican primary with 49% before easily winning a runoff. After winning the general election by four points she became only the second governor of Indian descent, and only the third non-white governor in US history.

But her most trying test would come in 2015 which would see Haley make a landmark decision that would change the course of history. Following a mass shooting of black worshippers at a church in Charleston, South Carolina, Haley called for a bill to permanently removed the Confederate flag from flying atop the state capitol. The state legislature responded, and Haley signed the bill a month later. The next year, Nikki Haley was named by Time magazine as one of “The 100 Most Influential People”.

Nikki Haley continues to inspire us in her words and actions. With an autobiography entitled Can’t Is Not an Option, it’s clear this is one formidable woman looking to change the world. We profile some of her most elegant style choices in the world of politics:

Beguiling in Blue

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To celebrate an unforgettable night, the UN ambassador chose an outfit unlike any other. On the occasion of both her 45th birthday as well as the inauguration of the US President, she wore a dazzling floor-length gown in brilliant cobalt blue. With a flowing mermaid shape and scooped cowl neckline, the silhouette suits her tall frame perfectly.

A Meeting of Icons

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What happens when you bring three phenomenal women together? The result is a powerful force unlike any other. Here Nikki Haley is joined by Nadia Murad, a victim of inhumane torture under ISIS as well as her attorney, the ever-stylish Amal Clooney. Haley’s ensemble for the event was a black-and-white patterned shift dress and a draped black wrap jacket – subtle, understated yet chic.

Pretty in Pink

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One doesn’t often see ambassadors wearing the latest fashion trends. So when Nikki Haley stepped out in one of the season’s most buzz-worthy shades – cerise pink, you can be sure we sat up and paid attention. She met with the president of Israel in a gorgeous cerise pink wrap dress with perfectly suited pointy nude colored pumps.

Cut-Out Chic

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On the event of her wedding anniversary to her husband Michael, Nikki Haley chose something classic yet still modern and on-trend. Her little black dress resembles a shift dress in its fitted silhouette but surprises with subtle bell sleeves plus cut-out detailing on the shoulders. A fashion risk we definitely approve of!

Red Velvet

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Another black-tie event, another breathtaking evening gown. This time, Haley decided on a velvet number in decadent wine red to match the sleek elegance of her husband’s tuxedo. Her gown’s off-the-shoulder design and three-quarter sleeves is a daring option that paid off beautifully.

Nikki Haley: Silver Siren

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Spot the burgeoning style icon in the crowd! Haley is every bit the fashionista as she is snapped at a dinner party with friends. Her structured silver dress is everything an elegant dinner ensemble should be: sleek and glamorous but still feminine and minimalist. The metallic finish of the fabric picks up the light beautifully, adding an ethereal glow to her overall appearance. Just stunning!


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