Reshma Saujani Ditches the Pearls, Wins Over Fashionistas on Campaign Trail
By Gabriela Resto-Montero
UPPER EAST SIDE — At a fundraising event last week, Congressional candidate Reshma Saujani's supporters were confident their candidate would not only win the seat, but that she'd do it in style.
"She understands how finance works, not just policy," said Alexis Maybank, co-founder of Gilt Groupe, a company that made more than $100 million last year, at the Women for Reshma fundraiser.
"But, it gets better. Look how fashionable she is, she'll definitely be the best dressed person in Congress."
Saujani's tailored black suits mirrors the young, professional and hip female demographic she's courting in her race to represent the Upper East Side, along with her background in finance at Fortress Investments.
The look contrasts the pearl-and-pantsuit set of her predecessors in politics, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her incumbent rival, Rep. Carolyn Maloney.
Saujani is also a fan of bold colors, like the red, silk top she wore to an Entrepreneurs for Reshma event. She wears them well, said Marissa Evans, founder of Go Try It On, a style Web site based in New York.
"Her look is sophisticated and powerful," Evans said.
The stylist said that while female candidates often have to battle scrutiny over their appearance on the campaign trail, it can be an opportunity to stand out.
"You look at men's fashion and it hasn't changed for years, women can bring flare," Evans said. "I don't think one excludes the other — liking fashion doesn't make you less serious."
Maloney, a nine-term House member, sports an elegant and fresh look, Evans said. The Congresswoman's favoring of jackets with interesting details and sleek jewelry make for a graceful and sharp look, she said.
Neither the Maloney and Saujani campaigns was willing to comment about their fashion statements on the campaign trail to DNAinfo.
But in an essay for the book "Secrets of Powerful Women," Maloney decried the imbalance of emphasis placed on a female candidate's appearance.
Still, she wrote, "All that being said, I do have a great royal blue TV-friendly suit that really takes a string of pearls rather well."