Lupita Nyong’o’s Best Style Moments Prove the Actress Is Red Carpet Royalty

In 2013, Lupita Nyong’o’s scene-stealing role in 12 Years a Slave catapulted her into the public eye. Immediately, the actress was a much sought after presence on red carpets of premieres and major award shows, and it wasn’t long before she proved her style chops. Nyong’o has a great eye for color, something that is obvious with just one scroll through her best style moments. While she has worn black in the past, it’s much more common to see the actress in rich blues or soft purples. When she does keep her palette more simple, however, she makes up for it with embellishments, texture, and, of course, attitude. Usually, Nyong’o sticks with her go-tos of Versace, Gucci, and Prada when it comes to major events, as they seem to always provide those bright, show-stopping moments she’s drawn toward, but the actress is always up for throwing a new designer in the mix. These days, our eyes remain on Nyong’o, as she promotes her various projects like the upcoming A Quiet Place prequel, and so far, we haven’t seen a misstep yet. Check out all of the actress’ best red carpet moments below, from the 12 Years a Slave premiere to now.

2024: Berlin International Film Festival

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Nyong’o was the the President of the International Jury at this year’s festival, and she dressed the part in a custom, sequin-covered dress by Boss.

2023: Academy Museum Gala

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The actress looked ethereal in a tiered, lace Chanel spring 2022 haute couture dress, which she topped with a flower crown.

2023: LACMA Art + Film Gala

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Like many of the LACMA Gala’s other attendees, Nyong’o wore Gucci for the celebration of art and film.

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2022: Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Mexico Premiere

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Nyong’o wore a custom look by Jonathan Cohen to the Mexico premiere of Wakanda forever, which featured a black leather dress, as well as a red silk opera coat which she wore on top for a portion of the night. The look was titled “Birth of a Rose” and was inspired by Nyong’o and Cohen’s shared Mexican heritage.

2022: Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Africa Premiere

For the Africa premiere, Nyong’o opted for a gold Vivienne Westwood haute couture dress with a draped neckline and high slit.

2022: Black Panther: Wakanda Forever European Premiere

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Nyong’o had a lot of great looks throughout the Wakanda Forever press tour, but this strapless, high-neck Alexander McQueen spring 2019 gown might just top the list.

2022: Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Los Angeles Premiere

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Nyong’o wore a white version of a Balmain spring 2023 dress to the premiere of Wakanda Forever, but it was her crown of shells and thread-braided hair that really brought the look to the next level.

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The actress shined in a gold, sequin-covered Prada dress at the 2022 Oscars.

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Nyong’o wore a custom Atelier Versace gown inspired by the brand’s couture jeans to the 2021 Met Gala.

2020: Screen Actors Guild Awards

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Wearing a strapless, black and white floral custom Louis Vuitton gown, Nyong’o attended the SAG Awards in 2020.

2019: Little Monsters Premiere

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Nyong’o went for a bold look in this Erki Orleans spring 2016 dress with clashing prints.

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The actress was hard to miss in a star-embroidered Atelier Versace gown with tulle rainbow shoulders at the 2019 Met Gala.

2019: Us New York Premiere

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The edgy elements of this Balmain fall 2019 PVC gown covered in spikes made it perfect for the premiere of Us.

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Nyong’o really embraced the horror film vibes in a sequin-covered Attico fall 2018 wrap dress, which she paired with a dark lip.

2019: Vanity Fair Oscar Party

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The actress embraced the drama at the Vanity Fair Oscar party when she showed up in an Oscar de la Renta fall 2019 feather-covered dress with an asymmetric high-low hem.

2019: Screen Actors Guild Awards

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The tailored top of this off-the-shoulder Vera Wang dress made for the perfect contrast against the sheer, embroidered skirt.

2019: Golden Globe Awards

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Nyong’o looked like royalty in this cobalt blue Calvin Klein by Appointment column dress which was literally dripping in jewels.

2018: Cannes Film Festival

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The actress wore a Christian Dior spring 2018 haute couture dress with a sheer caged turtleneck top and ruffled skirt to the Cannes Film Festival in 2018.

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Nyong’o looked like an Oscar trophy when she wore this one-shoulder Atelier Versace gown with an embellished crossbody detail and slit up the leg to the 2018 award show.

2018: Vanity Fair Oscar Party

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The subtle beadwork on this low-cut Armani Privé gown with side cutouts is what makes it so special.

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Elie Saab couture is to thank for this beautiful black gown with an intricately cut out top and exaggerated hips.

2018: Black Panther European Premiere

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Nyong’o loves to add the drama with some dark makeup, which is exactly what she did with this embellished, long-sleeved Atelier Versace gown at the European premiere of her Marvel film.

2018: Black Panther Los Angeles Premiere

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The actress looked as regal as ever in this flowing purple Atelier Versace gown with a beautifully embroidered harness on top.

2018: Screen Actors Guild Awards


Nyong’o’s Ralph & Russo fall 2017 couture gown looked almost like liquid as it continued down her body and into a skirt covered with black feathers.

2017: Star Wars: The Last Jedi Premiere

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Nyong’o loves her jewel tones, so this Halpern spring 2018 dress was a clear choice for the actress.

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The organza flowers atop her off-the-shoulder coral Prada gown made it one to remember.

2016: Queen of Katwe Premiere

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Nyong’o wore a beautiful lilac Elie Saab dress to the premiere of Queen of Katwe.

2016: Toronto International Film Festival

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The actress was hard to miss in this bright yellow Carolina Herrera dress with royal blue embroidery.

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Nyong’o wore a colorful off-the-shoulder Boss dress to the Tony Awards in 2016.

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Nyong’o looked like a real-life mermaid in this sea foam green, sequin-covered Calvin Klein dress at the 2016 Met Gala.

2015: Cannes Film Festival

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The actress hit the Cannes red carpet in a pleated, low-cut green Gucci gown.

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Dripping in pearls courtesy of Calvin Klein, Nyong’o attended the 2015 Oscars.

2015: Vanity Fair Oscar Party

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Nyong’o then changed into a simpler, yet equally as gorgeous golden Calvin Klein dress for the after party.

2015: Screen Actors Guild Awards

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While Nyong’o usually sticks to just one color at a time, she opted to wear this colorful Elie Saab pre-fall 2015 dress to the SAG Awards in 2015.

2015: Golden Globe Awards

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Nyong’o loves a bust of flowers, so this Giambattista Valli fall 2014 couture gown makes sense for the actress’ 2014 Globes look.

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The actress went retro at the 2014 Met Gala, wearing a flapper-inspired Prada dress.

2014: White House Correspondents’ Dinner

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The actress wore an Oscar de la Renta fall 2014 dress with a polka-dotted torso and peplum to the 100th Annual White House Correspondents’ dinner.

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Nyong’o looked like a modern Cinderella in Prada when she took home her first Oscar in 2014.

2014: Vanity Fair Oscar Party

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The actress then changed into a sea foam green Miu Miu dress with an embellished bust to celebrate her win into the night.

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Nyong’o wore a copper-hued Lanvin knee-length dress to her movie premiere in 2014.

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This gorgeous, emerald green dress is courtesy of the Dior fall 2013 couture collection.

2014: Screen Actors Guild Awards

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It’s all about the bold color when it comes to this custom Gucci column dress.

2014: Golden Globe Awards

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Per usual, Nyong’o looked like royalty in her red, caped Ralph Lauren dress.

2013: 12 Years a Slave Premiere

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Nyong’o’s Miu Miu spring 2014 knee-length dress featured a pleated skirt and a colorful bird motif.

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