Chadwick Boseman, who died tragically on Friday at the age of 43 after a four-year battle with colon cancer, was a supremely talented actor best known for his role as the superhero Black Panther, the alter ego of T’Challa, the king of Wakanda. Boseman was beloved by his friends, family, peers, and legion of fans. In a conversation with Vulture over the weekend, Hollywood casting director Sarah Halley Finn spoke of his “ability to channel this kind of dignity, this grace, this elegance, this regalness with humility and humor and intelligence” in his work. It’s a perfect description for his style, as well.
If you look back at some of Boseman’s early red-carpet appearances, it’s clear that he had an authentic point of view from the very beginning. He was able to pull off bright colors, loud prints, and unusual cuts without losing any sense of seriousness, which is rare and, true to his most famous character, very kingly. In 2018, the Black Panther press tour brought his sense of style to the masses, landing him on best-dressed lists and front row at fashion shows around the world. It also allowed him to push the traditional boundaries of menswear even further and make the red carpet fun again.
“With every outfit we created, I wanted the world to see and feel the warmth of your beautiful spirit,” his stylist, Ashley Weston, wrote in a tribute on Instagram. Together, they often worked with Givenchy and Versace — two brands that approach menswear with sensuality and flair.
“He was a dream to design for and a wonderful person with work with,” said former Givenchy designer Clare Waight Keller, who created his looks for the 2018 and 2019 Academy Awards.
Donatella Versace, who designed his godly Met Gala tuxedo and cape, called him “an artist, a pioneer, a hero for so many, but above all, a true gentleman.”
Below, an ode to Chadwick Boseman’s style, which was never shy and always impeccable.