Meet theGrio’s 2022 Style Stars
Which stars wore it best this year? TheGrio’s Lifestyle team has rounded up 2022’s best in Black celebrity style.
As we put another year to bed, theGrio’s Lifestyle team has taken some time to reflect on some of fashion’s biggest moments this year, of which there were many.
Rihanna had undeniably cool girl maternity fashion. Jodie Turner-Smith’s red carpet style was, in a word, noteworthy. The ever-flossy Lori Harvey remained just that. Just about every time we saw Lil Nas X, he was giving. And we would be remiss if we didn’t mention the entire effortlessly chic Wade family. The list goes on. Narrowing them all down to a consumable listicle length was maybe even harder. Below we’ve rounded up 26 style stars (in alphabetical order) whose style this year deserves one more moment in the limelight. Meet theGrio’s 2022 Style Stars.
Creative director-owner of Brother Vellies and Fifteen Percent Pledge founder-activist Aurora James’ style is marked by a certain quality of being aspirational and simultaneously obtainable. We saw look after look this year from James that were cosmopolitan and posh, tasteful and soigné.
If singer and actress Chlöe Bailey’s highly anticipated debut album is anything like her style this year, we will be the ones begging for mercy. The older Bailey sister didn’t shy away from taking risks and continuing to explore her evolving personal style this year as she stepped out in plunging necklines, high slits, and lots of sparkles.
Building on the red carpet buzz she garnered while promoting 2018’s “Black Panther,” Danai Gurira continued killing the fashion game in 2022. Since gracing this year’s Met Gala with African-accented glamour, the actress has been playing with bold shapes, fabrics, and textures, once again leaving her mark on celebrity fashion while promoting “Wakanda Forever.”
Everyone’s favorite awkward Black girl has also become one of our favorite fashionistas. Issa Rae’s minimalist approach to fashion is striking yet relatable, demonstrating that style is not always about individual pieces but how creatively you wear them.
Jaden Smith marches to the beat of his own fashion drum, and we love it. Unapologetic, bold, and dashing, Smith pushes the envelope in men’s fashion. Whether in a quilt, a crop top, or a traditional tux, he possesses a je ne sais quoi that elevates all of his looks, even if they are not your cup of tea.
Whether singer and actress Janelle Monáe is giving us her prototypical suited camp or dialing up the dazzle for a little more drama, she never disappoints. While promoting her latest film, Netflix’s “Glass Onion” this year, she gave us glamour, sex appeal, and the winking fun we’ve come to admire about her style.
The NBA pre-game tunnel is a player’s red carpet. With cameras flashing as they enter the arena, this is a moment for NBA stars to show off their off-the-court style, and James Harden consistently shows up and shows out in his own unique way.
If Jodie Turner-Smith is going to do one thing, she’s going to dress to kill. From Balmain gladiator chic to barely-there cut-out gowns by Gucci, to ornate feather robes, the actress — also named People magazine’s Best Dressed Star of 2022 — spent the fall film festival season delivering look after look.
This year, singer and actress Kelly Rowland gave us two new movies and sensational style. Always a show-stopper, Rowland channeled old Hollywood glamour on several red carpets, tapped into the gloves trend, and fearlessly played with patterns and textures.
K-Dot typically has an understated cool Cali boy vibe, but this year we saw a slight pivot to fashion boy. The rapper appeared on moody magazine covers, carved a new lane for the color pink, and gave us his best attempt at an edgy modern messiah during his acclaimed world tour.
When musician Lenny Kravitz wasn’t on his farm in Brazil or private island in the Bahamas, he was giving us more of the quintessential rockstar style he’s long been known for. This year, the 2022 CFDA Awards Fashion Icon sported knee-high leopard boots, shaggy vests, chain tanks, lots of satin, and, of course, shades, as only he could.
With crystals, crisp tailoring, and charm that stole everyone’s hearts during the “Wakanda Forever” press tour — including a sartorial tribute to her late co-star Chadwick Boseman — Letitia Wright showcased how you can elevate and remix the most classic looks. It’s safe to say she’s 2022’s master of suits.
Lil Nas X
When it comes to fashion, rapper Lil Nas X always seems to understand the assignment. From a bedazzled Grammys look to an otherworldly MTV VMA slay to carrying around a stuffed animal as an accessory, the musician spent 2022 delivering a serious level of drip.
This year, Lori Harvey made her mark as fashion’s newest “it” girl. Whether she’s attending a red carpet, Fashion Week, or on a date with a mystery partner, Harvey modeled jaw-dropping looks that effortlessly mixed luxury fashion and street style. Regardless of how you want to categorize her style, Harvey’s wardrobe is the epitome of chic.
Actress Lupita Nyong’o didn’t just have a major film release this year; she also had some major style moments. The “Wakanda Forever” press tour gave us many different looks to love, but most recently, Nyong’o’s vacay couple’s style with Selema Masekela generated some well-deserved buzz.
Marsai Martin is all grown up — and made that clear through her fashion this year. Just as the ingenue continues to make her mark as an industry trailblazer, her 2022 wardrobe showcased chic and charismatic pieces, matching her personality. Whether she’s in a denim Dolce & Gabbana miniskirt or Julian Mendez Couture, Martin is that girl in young Hollywood.
Model Paloma Elsesser delivered both on and off the runway in 2022. Whether posing for a magazine cover or appearing on a red carpet, she brought her upscale boho vibe to the fore. But Elsesser has also mastered the art of high glamour, whether rocking a sequined knit gown and gloves or her silver corseted Met Gala look.
Even in all-black everything, Precious Lee isn’t afraid to change it up. This year the supermodel, a devotee of the little black dress, also gave us some color via feathers, flames, suited chic, and of course her signature black looks.
Don’t let her “”Abbott Elementary” style fool you; Quinta Bronson’s wardrobe is head of the class. With a penchant for bright colors and big details, the diminutive star and show creator shined bright on every red carpet she stepped on.
After announcing her pregnancy in January, Rihanna thrilled fans and fashion lovers alike with her delightful and daring take on maternity fashion. The music mogul stylishly bumped along through early spring alongside her equally fashionable partner, rapper A$AP Rocky, in head-turning looks. After becoming a first-time mom in May, the billionaire pop star and fashion industry tycoon rounded out the year by debuting Savage x Fenty Vol. 4 in November, delivering sultry postpartum style.
Actress Taylor Russell isn’t just rising as one of Hollywood’s brightest stars, she’s also rising as one of the red carpet’s most anticipated faces. The actress spent the year promoting her new film, “Bones and All,” in elegant gowns with edgy silhouettes.
Tyler, the Creator
Tyler, the Creator has always had a lot of fun with his style and this year, thankfully, was more of the same. The rapper and fashion designer appeared at Fashion Weeks all over the globe and on red carpets with a healthy mix of hypebeast street style and avant-garde fashion.
The Union-Wade Family
The Union-Wades were hands-down the coolest, most fashionable family on the block this year. It’s no secret Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade have a beautiful blended family. Still, this year, each stepped out of their respective comfort zones stylistically and killed it every time, including daughters Zaya and Kaavia James.
Yahya Abdul-Mateen II
This year, actor Yahya Abdul-Mateen II demonstrated just how not boring men’s fashion can be. He didn’t just wear suits to his many red carpet appearances, he gave us looks, as we saw him proudly rock pastels, blues, pinks, and yellow.
Whether she’s in the most extravagant design or the simplest look, Zendaya continuously manages to leave us speechless with her style. Known to rock a good suit as effortlessly as a gown, you never know what to expect when Zendaya walks the red carpet—but we can guarantee her daring style will leave you wondering if there’s anything she can’t pull off.
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