Lupita Nyong’o covers the October 2019 issue of Vanity Fair magazine photographed by Jackie Nickerson and styled by Samira Nasr.
On having learned to pick her battles: She says early in her life, she fought “pettier” ones—but purpose clarifies itself, and her courage to speak out is innate. “I was born into a political family. My father was fighting for what he believed in,” says Nyong’o. “I think it was really just instilled in me that there are things in this world that are worth changing—part of living is about trying to transform the world into, you know…the world that we want to be a part of.”
On the “Black Panther” effect: “In Black Panther, I felt that the African experience was allowed to exist aspirationally,” says Nyong’o. “I think it’s more common in America to hear of the struggle of black people than it is to hear of the success. It’s more of a sensation to have a headline about a struggle, you know? ‘Lupita Shunned by People for Her Hair Texture.’ The struggle through having dark skin is clickbait. So when Black Panther came along…it was so refreshing to work on an African narrative that did not lead with the struggle of being African.”
– Valentino Pleated Dress from the Fall 2019 Collection
[Photo Credit: Jackie Nickerson/Vanity Fair Magazine, valentino.com]