In Living Color: Danielle Brooks Brightens Up Essence Magazine

Photo: Yachin Parham (Essence magazine)

Brown, body-positive and beautiful in brilliant hues—that’s Danielle Brooks inside the pages of May’s Essence magazine, where the Orange Is the New Black actress models a spectrum of vibrant looks styled by Fashion and Beauty Director Julee Wilson.


While Kerry Washington wows on this issue’s black-and-white cover, Brooks gives us a color rush inside, flexing the modeling skills she’s honed walking the runways for Christian Siriano, and dishing on her new role as designer of a capsule collection for curve-friendly label Universal Standard.

“You get exhausted asking people to design for you,” she told Essence. “So I was like, ‘I want to work with people who are allowing me the opportunity to wear what I want to wear and design what I want to design.’”

The result is an array of super-wearable looks named for the actress herself, designed to make every woman feel like a star. It’s a mission close to Brooks’ heart, as she uses her growing platform to inspire and encourage more like her, as she told Essence: “It’s truly for that next girl to rise up and feel confident about herself and see people who are expressing themselves [and loving themselves] in the way that she hopes to.”

Photo: Yachin Parham (Essence magazine)

The Glow Up tip: Check out Brooks’ incredibly fashion-forward feature in Essence’s May issue, on newsstands now.

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Maiysha Kai

Maiysha Kai is Managing Editor of The Glow Up and your average Grammy-nominated goddess next door. Minneapolis born, Chicago bred, New York built. Nuance is her superpower.