‘Empire’ Star Taraji P. Henson Talks Cookie Lyon And Shoes On Set

Taraji P. Henson Empire Alexander Wang
Taraji P. Henson on the red carpet with "Empire" costume designer Paolo Nieddu and Alexander Wang. She is wearing head-to-toe Alexander Wang.
Getty Images.

Alexander Wang speaks for the 13 million people who tune into Fox’s “Empire” when he says, “The entire world has their eyes on ‘Empire’ right now. It’s a cultural phenomenon.”

Wang, who presented Taraji P. Henson and “Empire” costume designer Paolo Nieddu with an ACE Award on Monday night, added, “The show is such a hit. But the fashion — the bold looks they create together and the way she brings it to life — takes it to a whole other level. It’s a force to be reckoned with.”

Henson stars as the breath of fresh air, raw and tell-it-like-it-is character Cookie Lyon, and with her role comes Cookie’s extreme fashion sense. Henson has fully immersed herself in Cookie’s character, but she makes it a point to differentiate herself from her role.

“In my personal life, I stay away from prints because I have to find a me in this. Cookie has hijacked my entire life. So I really have to be conscious when I go out in public to look like Taraji. That’s why [I have] the bob [hairstyle. … Cookie would never be seen in the bob —unless it’s the asymmetrical bob in a flashback [scene]. I have to a have look that’s Taraji,” Henson told Footwear News.

For Cookie’s look, Henson gives all the credit to Nieddu.

Taraji P. Henson Empire Paolo Nieddu ACE Awards Taraji P. Henson on stage with “Empire” costume designer Paolo Nieddu at the 2015 ACE Awards. Getty Images.

“When you think about clothes and fashion, you don’t think science,” she said on stage. “This one thinks scientifically. He comes in, and I stand there. People think I have input. I say nothing. I’m his muse. I trust him. They pay me to say the lines, and they pay [Nieddu] to bring the character to life.”

Henson says Jeremy Scott sends lots of Moschino to the set. She said Cookie also wears Gucci, Valentino, Alaia and Altuzarra. So far in season two, Cookie has been spotted in Jimmy Choo, Pierre Hardy, Gianvito Rossi and Christian Louboutin.

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