If you love the show Empire, then you will like the interview that Actress Taraji P. Henson recently did with Vogue magazine where she talks about fashion, her character Cookie Lyon, hip hop culture and influences for the show. I’ve watched Empire a few times and was very impressed and do plan on watching again! The series is really good and Im always tuned in to see what Cookie will wear lol. She reminds me of my hey day in the late 80’s when it was all about big hair, bold makeup and fly clothing! Check out what Taraji had to say inside plus a bonus clip with the fashion consultant Monique Mosley and wardrobe stylist Rita McGhee for the show. Empire airs Wednesdays on Fox at 8pm. xoxo
Are you and Cookie similar in any ways?
Some of it is me. I think with all of the characters I portray, there is a little bit of me. I have to pull from life experiences to make the words pop. With Cookie, I am a personality in real life, so we have that in common. But I don’t go flying off the handle in elevators. Like when she calls Jamal’s boyfriend La Cucaracha, or calls the cab driver a Pakistani. I don’t do that. I have the emotions in check.
Do you help pick the wardrobe?
Normally, they bring me a bunch of things and I pick what I like. I’m the one who has to sell it. It’s all about fit—if I put something on and I feel like Cookie in it, I’m feeling it. For the jewelry, they’ll dump a bunch of jewelry in my room and I just wear all of it.
Were there people from hip-hop culture that you specifically referenced for Cookie?
She’s more than hip-hop: She’s everywoman, she’s a mother, she’s a family woman, a wife, a ride-or-die. She made a sacrifice to break the cycle of poverty, and that makes her an everywoman. Is she influenced by Foxy Brown? Certainly. That’s where a lot of her style comes from—Salt-N-Pepa, all of that. That era of hip-hop was her heyday, those are the woman she identifies with.
Lil’ Kim is surely a big influence on Cookie.
Kim is everything. Today it’s Nicki Minaj, but Nicki Minaj got everything from Kim. Kim came on the scene and made everything change for women—she made it feminine and sexy and hardcore. She was a champion, and she’s certainly Cookie’s champion.
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Plus this bonus clip from the wardrobe stylist for the show!
Images Fox Broadcasting Co. CR: Chuck Hodes/FOX