The celebrity fashion industry is a high stakes business, for both brand and talent. But when it’s done right, red carpet fashion produces some of the most memorable cultural moments. Here are 22 stars — in no particular order —who held the spotlight in 2019.
Bella and Gigi Hadid
The Hadid sisters have a tight grip on the fashion world, and not just as the most in-demand runway and ad campaign models; their influence is equally important in women’s mainstream street style and fashion. This year they upped the style quotients of brands like Dr. Martens and By Far.
She has dominated the red carpet for years, but 2019 was definitively the year of La Lopez. It started with a statuesque appearance in Tom Ford alongside soon-to-be-fiancé Alex Rodriguez, continued with a 50th birthday celebration and a surprise runway walk at Versace to celebrate the 20th anniversary of her iconic Grammy Awards dress from 1999, and ended with the start of a big-deal Coach endorsement.
The always precocious star came into her own this year, and a hit collaboration with Tommy Hilfiger was just the beginning. After debuting the collection this past March in Paris (alongside fashion icons Grace Jones and Anna Cleveland), the actress’s role as Rue in the hit HBO show Euphoria cemented Generation-Z style.
The multihyphenate talent became the first openly gay black man to be nominated for and win a Primetime Emmy Award, for his role in FX’s Pose, and Porter made sure his wardrobe was equally loud and proud. His numerous red carpet looks (including a Christian Siriano tuxedo dress for the Oscars) were not only gender fluid; they were downright fun.
Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union
The NBA star may have retired in April, but he seems to have found a new hobby in couple’s fashion with actress wife Gabrielle Union. The duo is wont to hit the red carpet together in coordinating looks and beaded hoods at the Met Gala. Their year-old daughter, Kavia James, is often in a mini matching ensemble.
It started with a cashmere bra and a few unique sandal choices this summer, but by late September, media outlets everywhere were abuzz with the actress’s style as a post-breakup fashion statement, after her split from Jamie Foxx — announced in August.
The Colombian reggaeton star was one of the top streamed music artists of the year, and as his mainstream crossover appeal continues to rise, so does his fashion stardom. Style Influencer winner of the 2019 FN Achievement Awards, he had a BAPE collab this year and, clad in Dior Homme, was also the inaugural cover star of the new Harper’s Bazaar Men magazine.
The actress has long been a style icon by way of “Annie Hall” and “The First Wives Club,” but 2019 was the year that a new generation discovered Keaton’s innate chicness, by way of her ALL CAPS-heavy Instagram account. A strictly black-and-white palette and a penchant for neck scarves, tall hats and platform shoes have solidified her modern look.
A Grammy win paired with a Versace safety-pin dress kicked off a stylish and successful year for the British singer, whose fashion versatility includes head-to-toe Chanel and a vintage-inspired matching Staud minidress and knee boots. With a sophomore album slated for early 2020, the outfit parade is sure to continue.
Tracee Ellis Ross
One of fashion’s most dependable ambassadors, the “Black-ish” star translated haute looks from Marc Jacobs and Rodarte to the red carpet and continued her legacy of multiple costume changes while hosting awards shows (most recently at the British Fashion Awards). The actress is also a champion of black fashion, supporting and wearing brands like Pyer Moss and Christopher John Rogers.
The country star had a series of looks that both bent the rules of traditional country star attire and paid homage to the legacy of the genre’s past stars like Dolly Parton and Tammy Wynette — while still looking totally modern and cool.
Whether it’s on-screen in custom power-player suits or offscreen in, well, the same thing but with a bit more color, Johnson embodies enviable athlete style — even if he has long since been one.
Already a veteran of best-dressed lists, the 36-year-old actress continued to show sophistication on the red carpet but also a playfulness and wholehearted willingness to take risks, whether it was a campy Versace look with hair pick and Divine-inspired makeup at the Met Gala or haunting colored contacts for the premiere of “Us” in March.
The singer has just kicked off another round of Harry mania with the Dec. 13 release of his new album “Fine Line,” in which his choice of pants has factored prominently. But even earlier in 2019 there were hints of Styles’s impending fashion frenzy, which included playing co-host at the Met Gala in a lace jumpsuit and a single pearl earring by Gucci.
Lil Nas X
With the help of Norwegian stylist Hodo Musa, the breakout star’s unconventional music was only matched by his completely unique looks.
Whether it was onstage, on the red carpet or carousing with the audience at Ralph Lauren’s jazz-age speakeasy spring ’20 show in September, the music artist always made a statement.
The megastar was on public hiatus early in 2019 as she prepped for the debut of her LVMH-backed Fenty line. Once the luxury label launched in May, the singer and fashion mogul was off and running, wearing many of her own designs (including the shoes) while also continuing to show off experimental looks from the likes of Givenchy, Jacquemus, Alexandre Vauthier — and the heels of her new footwear designer Amina Muaddi.
The actor may be typecast as a barbarian, but in 2019 Momoa proved that not only can “real men” wear pink (whatever that means), but they can do so with any level of masculinity they desire.
Amidst the whirlwind of awards season for the 2018 hit film “Crazy Rich Asians,” the lead actress nailed every single one of her red carpet looks, including and especially the neon pink, ruffled Valentino gown she wore to the Oscars.
Odell Beckham Jr.
The NFL star is now as much a modern-day men’s fashion icon as he is an athlete, with equal parts sleek tailoring from Tom Ford and off-duty looks from Amiri and Louis Vuitton.