The youngster dressed in a dark coat, a pair of glasses, and mittens that bore a striking resemblance to Sanders' wildly popular ones.
When it came time to pick an outfit for a special occasion at school, a 5-year-old in North Carolina turned to Sen. Bernie Sanders for inspiration. While the 79-year-old politician might have seemed like an odd choice for a fashion guru until recently, Sanders' headline-making outfit at President Joe Biden's inauguration last month changed all that. Bundled up in a sensible winter coat and cozy-looking brown patterned mittens, the senator sent the internet into a meme-making frenzy of editing Sanders' Inauguration Day look into every imaginable scenario possible. Meanwhile, young Harrison Streetman saw in it the opportunity to turn some heads at his school party.
Some of my favorite Bernie Sanders sightings today: pic.twitter.com/Pxta5BO7Uu— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) January 21, 2021
According to WXII 12, Harrison dressed up as the senator for the 100th Day celebration at Pinebrook Elementary. "Yeah, I know who he is," Harrison told FOX Television Stations Sunday. "His teacher encouraged them [students] to dress up as 100-year-old people, and so, then the idea of just dressing up as an old person was kind of going through our heads," Harrison’s mother, Amanda, said. "And the 'Bernie meme' was so popular." The youngster was dressed in a dark coat, a pair of glasses, and even mittens that bore a striking resemblance to Sanders' wildly popular ones.
5-year-old Harrison Streetman goes to Pinebrook Elementary in Davie County and he dressed up as the “Bernie Sanders meme” for the 100th Day of School! 😂😂😂 pic.twitter.com/aLhuOcizro— WXII DaVonté McKenith (@DaVonteMcKenith) January 29, 2021
To top it all off, Harrison posed exactly like Sanders in the now-viral picture of the senator sitting socially-distanced from everyone else in a chair with his legs crossed and arms folded. "It felt good," the boy said when asked how he felt about dressing up as the politician. "It was cool but now life is much better that I feel that I just made my mom some news." Harrison's mother — who is a teacher herself — put the costume together for her son from scratch and even went as far as to making the nearly-identical mittens herself.
Sen. Bernie Sanders has raised $1.8 million for charity through the sale of merchandise inspired by the viral photo of him and his mittens on Inauguration Day. https://t.co/eZIO0wmVSr— CNN (@CNN) January 28, 2021
The original Sanders mittens that became a social media sensation was also crafted by a teacher. Jen Ellis, who teaches second grade, made the mittens for the former presidential candidate in 2016, after he lost the Democratic presidential nomination to Hillary Clinton. According to NBC News, she asked Sanders' daughter-in-law — who owns the preschool Ellis’ daughter attended at the time — to pass them on to the senator as a token of support. "I was making mittens for all of the preschool teachers for holiday gifts, and I made an extra pair for Bernie," Ellis revealed.
Meet the Vermont teacher behind Sen. Sanders' viral mittens. https://t.co/9RBZsuoyew— NBC News (@NBCNews) February 1, 2021
"I put a little note in that just said something like, 'I really support you, and I like you, and I hope you run again,'" she added. When Ellis' mittens first started making headlines early last year after Sanders wore them on the presidential campaign trail, she shared on Twitter that she had made them from repurposed wool sweaters and recycled plastic bottles. Then, in February 2020, Ellis tweeted that she had a few extra pairs for sale and shared her email address. "I lead a really quiet life up here in Vermont, and only a few people contacted me, and I was able to coordinate with them to get them the mittens that they wanted," she said. "My email sort of disappeared in the annals of Twitter — until it was found again."
I made Bernie’s mittens as a gift a couple years ago. They are made from repurposed wool sweaters and lined with fleece (made from recycled plastic bottles). #BerniesMittens pic.twitter.com/lTXFJvVy9V— Jen Ellis (@vtawesomeness) January 21, 2020
It has been a whirlwind of interviews for Ellis — who lives in Essex Junction with her wife, Liz, and their 5-year-old daughter — since Inauguration Day and she admitted that she's been "cast into the international spotlight" in a way for which she wasn't ready. Although she doesn't make mittens to sell anymore, Ellis decided to make three more pairs a few days after the inauguration to make a difference with her newfound fame. She donated one pair to Outright Vermont, an LGBTQ+ youth organization, and another to Passion 4 Paws, a dog rescue in Vermont, and is auctioning off the third pair on eBay to raise money for her daughter's college fund.
"We don't all have material things to give away, but we all have so many other gifts," Ellis said. "When we give them away in what capacity we can, what we get back is astounding. You know, I didn't get rich quick off this, but what I have got back has been so much longer-lasting and more profoundly contributed to who I am, and I feel like Vermont will benefit from this."