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Lee Daniels: I dismissed fashion shows

Published 15/09/2015

Lee Daniels
Lee Daniels

Lee Daniels has started to attend catwalk displays with Empire star Naomi Campbell.

The 55-year-old is the mastermind behind TV show Empire, which has become renowned for its cutting-edge style thanks to the pieces donned by Taraji P. Henson’s character Cookie. It also stars supermodel Naomi Campbell, who has been teaching Lee all about the industry.

“I’ve gone to a few shows with Naomi,” he told WWD. “My friends go all the time, and they’ve been trying to invite me but I always threw my nose up at them. But now I’m into it. When I really started appreciating fashion at all was when we were trying to experiment with fashion on Empire, and the whole thing with Cookie.”

Lee was speaking as he attended Carolina Herrera’s show at New York Fashion Week on Monday.

Although he’s only recently started paying attention to what’s en vogue, Lee is surrounded by people who make it their mission to be stylish. Among them is his sister Leah, who he recently admitted going on stealing sprees at department store Saks with when they were growing up.

The star’s younger years were tough, and this is what he hopes to show via the flamboyant and lavish costumes used in Empire. For example, Cookie is regularly seen in over-sized furs and bold prints.

“What we wanted to do with Empire was a show that explains ghetto-fabulous, that you can still have a sense of style and taste coming from enormous poverty,” he explained.

Cookie is the TV show’s biggest fashion star, something which has Taraji struggling for words. During season one she’d sometimes use pieces from her own wardrobe for the character, but now many of the world’s biggest designers are queuing up to dress the 45-year-old star.

"We have [the] Moschino 2016 line already, like straight from Italy. People get it… And thank God I've been working out, so I can wear the sample sizes," Taraji previously laughed to Access Hollywood. "But yeah, it's just interesting. It's interesting because, you know, all of a sudden now I'm a fashion icon. Cookie did it, 'cause I've been around. I've been doing this for almost 20 years, and it took me 20 years to make it, but woo! Now I'm a fashion icon."

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