By Megan Sayles, AFRO Business Writer,
On Jan. 18, Wes Moore was inaugurated as the first Black governor of Maryland in the state’s capital. He stepped out to be sworn in donning a navy blue suit alongside his first lady, Dawn Moore, who wore a cream cape-style coat over a cream colored dress.
Baltimore natives and life partners Kevin Scott and Jody Davis had the honor of dressing Maryland’s first family for the historic day.
“It was amazing to see
] in his element and being recognized for who he is and what he does. I was ecstatic seeing the gratitude and appreciation that I received from people,” said Davis. “When I got home last night, I just happened to turn on the television and on the news was the first lady and the governor walking down the steps, and although I was there in person seeing it on the news… just the beauty of the whole experience, really warmed my heart.”
Scott is the owner of Benedetto Haberdashery, a men’s fashion store situated in the 300 block of Baltimore’s Park Avenue. Davis is the owner of Jody Davis, a women’s boutique located on Saratoga Street.
The couple met right out of high school, but they never expected that fashion would be their calling.
They have been working in their field for more than 20 years, and they’ve been friends with the Moore family for more than a decade. The Moores previously owned a property next to Scott’s boutique, and both the governor and first lady frequented Scott and Davis’ stores for clothing.
“When he did his first commercial, he wanted me to dress him and help get his wardrobe situated,” said Scott. “When that happened, they knew then if they needed me– they could call me.”
Both Davis and Scott had to ensure that the final looks would be comfortable and suitable for the weather, while also adhering to tradition. It was also important for the outfits to complement one another.
The first lady told Davis she wanted a monochromatic look that was stately and elegant. Winter white cream is one of her favorite colors, according to Davis, so they agreed that would be the choice for the ensemble.
Davis designed the entire outfit from scratch over six weeks, sourcing fabrics from New York City instead of Paris and Italy to meet the time crunch.
First lady Moore’s cape was made out of a medium-weight wool cashmere, and the dress underneath was made of a heavy jersey fabric. Davis said it embodied simple elegance.
Gov. Moore requested a more fitted suit to complement his athletic build. According to Scott, the governor loves wearing variations of blue.
Under his navy suit jacket, he wore a cobalt blue dress shirt. His ensemble also included a crisp white pocket square, which Scott said has become one of the governor’s signature accessories.
Scott and Davis dressed the first lady and governor on inauguration day and accompanied them to the swearing-in ceremony. On the ride over, they said the weight of the opportunity started to set in.
Later, they attended the People’s Ball at the Baltimore Convention Center.
“He’s not a governor for race, he’s a governor for all, and being that, my prayer is he puts the proper perspectives in place as it relates to policy and government so that all people will be able to benefit from his leadership.”
Megan Sayles is a Report for America corps member.