Vanity Fair

You’ve seen them on screen, on the red carpet and often, right here on The Glow Up. And now, just in time for New York Fashion Week, several of our favorite fashionable celebs have landed on Vanity Fair’s Best Dressed 2018 list!

And because we’re always rooting for everybody black (it’s our job, as well as our favorite pastime), we’ve compiled a sublist of VF’s best dressed black folks. Unsurprisingly, there are a few usual suspects—and a few we simply shrugged at—but let’s get into it.


Tracee Ellis Ross

Ross was not only born into divadom but worked in fashion and counted Ralph Lauren’s kids among her childhood friends before her now award-winning acting career took off. In a Vanity Fair-produced video (above), she traces the trajectory of her now-inimitable style—in classic Tracee Ellis Ross style. Obviously, her style icon is mom Diana, whom she borrowed heavily from in her pre-stylist years. And now?

“I really just wear what makes my heart sing!” she says. “I feel like I came out of my mom’s womb like, “Where’s the beads?!?”


David Adjaye

If you’re looking for a knight in shining architecture, Sir David Adjaye is your dude (no really, he’s a knight). Born in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, the Ghanaian-British Adjaye is one of the world’s foremost architects—he designed the National Museum of African American History and Culture, otherwise known as “the Blacksonian.” Apparently, he constructs his outfits with equal care, and his pro tip is the same as ours: “Always mix high fashion with high-street fashion.”


Sir David Adjaye poses after he was Knighted by the Duke of Cambridge during an Investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace on May 12, 2017 in London, England.
Photo: Jonathan Brady (WPA Pool / Getty Images)


Our sneaking suspicion is that if you stand next to Beyoncé long enough, you automatically get more stylish (though Queen Bey did not make it onto this year’s list, all-designer tour wardrobe be damned). But if anything qualifies the elder Sir Carter for a nod, it’s that he’s clearly continued to allow his style to evolve, taking us on a journey from Brooklyn street hustler to top designer name-checker to very tailored mogul—and back again, as his heart desires.


Donald Glover

Donald Glover’s most famous look to date may be sans shirt, but on the red carpet, onscreen and onstage as Childish Gambino, he’s adopted a pseudo-’70s aesthetic that makes it easy to see why he was he was a shoo-in for reprising the role of Lando Calrissian ... because no one since Billy Dee (except arguably, Andre 3000) has pulled off that particular brand of swag better.


Donald Glover attends FIJI Water with the Cinema Society host a screening of ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ at SVA Theater on May 21, 2018 in New York City.
Photo: Bryan Bedder (Getty Images for FIJI Water)

LeBron James

Part basketball phenom, part philanthropist, part family man, and part fashion plate, LeBron James is the ultimate renaissance man—okay, maybe one-and-a-half of them. His penchant for tailored, cropped-leg suits and innovative ideas and designs keep him current, but he remains down to earth in his fashion choices, telling Vanity Fair: “I keep in mind that comfort, confidence, and what feels natural play a big part in style.”


And isn’t philanthropy always in fashion?

LeBron James addresses the crowd during the opening ceremonies of the I Promise School on July 30, 2018 in Akron, Ohio.
Photo: Jason Miller (Getty Images)

Lakeith Stanfield

Lakeith Stanfield may still be adjusting to his newfound Hollywood leading man status—while risking becoming a problematic fave—but if he remains a fave, it’s because he proudly wears his quirks and curiosity on his sleeve.


For instance, he tells Vanity Fair: “[In 2015] I told my stylists I wanted to wear a women’s suit [to the LA Film Festival], and they found one. It was brilliant and beautiful, and I was like, “Yes, yes, yes, yes. I have to do this ... When it comes to my style, I do what feels right. What people think about you is in their mind, not yours. But I am a little bluebird flapping around.”

That said, his favorite shoes are his Gucci loafers.


Jenke Ahmed Tailly

Jenke Ahmed Tailly is one of the fashion industry’s most enduring and unsung staples. The Côte d’Ivorian styling veteran has worked (repeatedly) with Beyoncé, Naomi, and Kanye’s wife, and counts among his personal network folks like his favorite designer, Hedi Slimane, and the late, great Azzedine Alaïa. When VF asks his style motto, he responds: “Style is not about clothes; it’s about dreaming.”


Lauryn Hill

Lauryn Hill—sorry, Ms. Lauryn Hill—may not ever arrive anywhere on time, but she always knows how to make an entrance. Over the past two decades since her meteoric solo debut, Hill has become known for making eclectic and unapologetically eccentric fashion statements, often via unexpected layers of looks from major designers.


It’s an acquired taste, but one that has made Hill’s style as strikingly recognizable as her voice—which may be why she’s currently starring in her first fashion campaign and design collaboration with Woolrich.


No one’s surprised to see Rihanna on Vanity Fair’s best-dressed list; the musician, actress and mogul changes looks as fast and fantastically as her character in 2017’s Valerian. Her looks are regularly cataloged as iconic (just ask the CFDA), and yet somehow, she always manages to keep one-upping herself.


And then, there’s the fact that, after co-hosting this year’s Met Gala, Rih’s also closing out this year’s NY Fashion Week with an immersive show from her newest mind-blowing venture, Savage x Fenty lingerie. When we think about this bad gal’s fearless style, it’s safe to say we’ve got love on the brain.

H.R.H. Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex

Her minimalist royal wedding dress will be forever be etched in our collective imagination, but it was Meghan Markle’s second dress of the day, designed by Stella McCartney, that gave us a glimpse of the modern-day duchess Markle has now become. She may still be finding her stride in her new royal life, but like Prince Harry, the world can’t seem to keep its eyes off her.


Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex leave Windsor Castle after their wedding to attend an evening reception at Frogmore House, hosted by the Prince of Wales on May 19, 2018 in Windsor, England.
Photo: Steve Parsons (WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Serena Williams

Ahh, Serena. Slayer of inferior players and steadfast fashion lover, Williams stays committed to making style statements on the court and off—just check out her collaboration with Off-White x Nike for this year’s U.S. Open, or her own steadily growing eponymous line. But while we’ve pledged our undying love to the G.O.A.T., we were admittedly slightly surprised to find her on this list, as we sometimes find her hit-or-miss (off the court, that is).


Then, VF’s fashion director Samira Nasir reminded us how the phenom paired her Valentino gown with tennis shoes for Harry and Meghan’s wedding reception. “[F]earless and original,” Nasir wrote. With that, we’d have to agree.

Serena Williams celebrates victory following her women’s singles semi-final match on Day Eleven of the 2018 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 6, 2018 in Queens, New York.
Photo: Al Bello (Getty Images)


Duro Olowu

Nigerian British designer Duro Olowu is not only one of our all-time favorite designers (and Instagrams to follow) but is one-half of one of the most fashionable couples ever, as he’s married to Studio Museum of Harlem Director and Chief Curator Thelma Golden. In fact, we surprised that Golden wasn’t also on this list—until we realized she was on the jury of judges. But while Olowu and Golden’s life may appear impossibly glamorous, we were relieved to see that his style advice is both relatable and practical: “For the classics, always get multiples.”


Yara Shahidi

I mean, come on ... was there any question? Yara Shahidi is the epitome of young, gamine chic—with a serious socially-conscious streak. And it shows in her fashion choices, which are always of-the-moment, but like her, are also more than meets the eye. “Yara always looks chic and cool, but age-appropriate. She chooses looks that are fresh, playful, and still fashion-forward,” said Nasr.


Zoë Kravitz

For an edgier take on the ingenue, look no further than Zoë Kravitz. The 29-year-old may have learned from the best—Lenny Kravitz and Lisa Bonet are fashion icons in their own right—but she puts her own individualistic spin on a style that elevates her far above most other famous progeny. Having appeared in not only Hollywood blockbusters but in campaigns for Saint Laurent, Calvin Klein and Balenciaga, it’s clear Kravitz is a muse to be reckoned with.


It’s quite an ensemble—but is that all? Vanity Fair may have only honored 14 of our style stars with the honor of “Best Dressed,” but here are 14 more who could’ve easily made the list (in no particular order). Feel free to add your faves in the comments!

Lisa Bonet: Never forget that if Zoë Kravitz is a style star, she gets it from her mama. Lisa Bonet has been a fashion icon since playing Denise Huxtable over 30 years ago—and is still stunning.
(Lisa Bonet attends the premiere of Warner Bros. Pictures’ ‘Justice League’ at Dolby Theatre on November 13, 2017 in Hollywood, California.)
Zendaya: No one consistently kills it on the red carpet like Zendaya, who manages to always look gorgeous while taking fashion risks others would never dare.
(Zendaya attends the Tiffany & Co. Paper Flowers event and Believe In Dreams campaign launch on May 3, 2018 in New York City.)
Danai Gurira: When it comes to fearlessly chic looks, you can always depend on Danai Gurira to bring an elegant edge to the red carpet.
(Danai Gurira attends the 2018 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Radhika Jones at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on March 4, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California.)
Janet Mock: Her star is steadily rising in Hollywood, but Janet Mock has been stunning us with Hollywood glamour for years.
(Janet Mock attends the ‘Pose’ New York Premiere at Hammerstein Ballroom on May 17, 2018 in New York City.)
Issa Rae: She may play Insecure, but on the red carpet, Issa Rae exudes confidence, constantly wowing us in an array of unexpected looks and always gorgeous natural hairstyles.
(Issa Rae attends the 69th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 17, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.)
James Shaw Jr.: We have no idea how the Waffle House hero dressed prior to coming to national attention, but ever since, he has become the epitome of dapper male chic in subtly striking style (peep the tie).
(James Shaw Jr. attends the 2018 Black Music Honors at Tennessee Performing Arts Center on August 16, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee.)
Aisha Hinds: Bold, stunning and beautiful: You could be describing Aisha Hinds’ acting or her fashion sense, which she flexes with aplomb on red carpets and the ‘gram alike. With a clear love of vintage punctuated with an array of hats and statement glasses, Aisha Hinds is always a pleasure to watch.
(Aisha Hinds arrives at WGN America’s ‘Underground’ Season Two Premiere Screening At The Smithsonian National Museum Of African American History And Cultureon February 22, 2017 in Washington, DC.)
Nnamdi Asomugha: He may be best known for moves in his former career in the NFL (and for being married to the very stylish Kerry Washington), but since moving into a new career as an actor, Nnamdi Asomugha always proves to have modern male style well in hand.
(Nnamdi Asomugha attends the 2018 Film Independent Spirit Awards on March 3, 2018 in Santa Monica, California.)
Andre Benjamin: Oh, 3000...Andre Benjamin has never backed down from a style statement, whether collaborating on sneaker lines, designing his own Anita Baker tees or singlehandedly bringing back 1960's boy band realness with “Hey Ya.” But even now, Andre Benjamin can always be depended upon to dress to the beat of his own very funky drum.
(Andre Benjamin arrives to the Los Angeles premiere of ‘Jimi: All Is By My Side’ at ArcLight Cinemas on September 22, 2014 in Hollywood, California.
Angela Bassett: Okay, so with a body like Angela Bassett’s, you can pretty much wear anything, but let’s get into the fact that at 60, Bassett has eschewed any associations with grande dame by keeping her fashion always looking forward. Don’t call it age-defying; Bassett is an ambassador for getting better with time!
(Angela Bassett attends the premiere of Disney’s ‘A Wrinkle In Time’ at the El Capitan Theatre on February 26, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.)
Corinne Bailey Rae: She may sing soft and sweet, but Corinne Bailey Rae’s style profile is huge. Whether on stage or the red carpet, Rae always makes boldly fashionable choices that perfectly offset her otherwise ethereal image.
(Corinne Bailey Rae attends the UK Premiere of ‘Fifty Shades Darker’ at the Odeon Leicester Square on February 9, 2017 in London, United Kingdom.)
Lenny Kravitz: Is there anyone who better epitomizes “rock star” than Lenny Kravitz? Zoë Kravitz might get it from her mama, but her papa can best any Rolling Stone when it comes to the rock and roll aesthetic—and the elder Kravitz has his own design firm, too!
(Lenny Kravitz poses in the press room at the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards at Radio City Music Hall on August 20, 2018 in New York City.)
Naomie Harris: She wows us in pretty much any film she’s in, and on the red carpet, as well; Naomie Harris quietly brings the chic to pretty much anywhere she appears.
(Naomie Harris attends the EE British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA) held at Royal Albert Hall on February 18, 2018 in London, England.)
Mahershala Ali: Whether an Oscar-winning performance or a red carpet look, Mahershala Ali delivers both in impeccable style, going beyond dapper to looks that make draw you in as much as his roles do.
(Mahershala Ali attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California.)