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. His wife, Dawn Moore, stood by his side wearing a cream cape-style coat over a cream colored dress. 

Baltimore native Jody Davis had the honor of dressing Maryland’s new first lady for the historic day, while her life partner, Kevin Scott, had the privilege of clothing the new governor leading up to his inauguration.  

“It was amazing to see [Kevin] 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.” 

Davis is the owner of Jody Davis, a women’s boutique located on Saratoga Street. Scott is the owner of Benedetto Haberdashery, a men’s fashion store situated in the 300 block of Baltimore’s Park Avenue. 

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.” 

Although Scott helped Moore choose outfits on the campaign trail, the governor ultimately chose to employ D.C. native Miguel Wilson and his team to hand design his suits for Inauguration Day. 

When beginning to design the first lady’s final look, Davis had to ensure that it would be comfortable and suitable for the weather, while also adhering to tradition. It was also important for the outfit to complement the governor’s.

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. 

Both Scott and Davis accompanied the first family to the swearing-in ceremony. On the ride over, they said the weight of the moment 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.”

This article has been edited to clarify that while Kevin Scott regularly helps curate Governor Wes Moore’s looks, the suits worn during the swearing in ceremony and the People’s Ball were created by Miguel Wilson. 

Megan Sayles is a Report for America corps member.