Taraji P. Henson Builds Fashion ‘Empire’ With Cookie Lyons

Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) in "Empire." (Photo: Chuck Hodes, Fox)
Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) in “Empire.”
(Photo: Chuck Hodes, Fox)

Not since Carrie Bradshaw strutted her stuff all over New York City in head-to-toe designer duds has a fictional fashionista caused such a stir on television.

From her proclivity for fur to her impressive collection of sky-high stilettos, Empire‘s Cookie Lyon — played by Oscar-nominated actress Taraji P. Henson — is the small screen’s newest style icon.

“She is everywoman,” says the show’s costume designer Rita McGhee, and can take inspiration from first lady Michelle Obama while putting her own Cookie-style twist. “She wears a suit, but it’s a leopard suit and she wears it with some thigh-high boots. She owns the armor of her fashion. How she feels inside matches her outside.”

On the outside, Cookie is the Lyon who roars loudest. After all, she’s the queen of the cut-you-to-the-core one-liner — and her fur vault seems fit for royalty, too.

Cookie owns furs in seemingly every hue — “purple is her favorite color,” McGhee reveals — and she wears them proudly, regardless of occasion.

Whether she’s managing her three sons’ emotions, handling a bratty artist or fighting with her ex-husband Lucious (Terrence Howard), Cookie has an outfit — and an insult — for any situation.

“I read the script and break (it) down for what would be appropriate. Some things we look at and go, fur will work for this. ‘I’m going to see Lucious, I’m gonna dress sexy,'” McGhee says. Despite the glamour and the money, women are drawn to Cookie and her impeccable style because she’s relatable, she says.

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SOURCE: USA Today – Arienne Thompson

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