Pret-a-Reporter

This Is What the 'Empire' Cast Wears to Feel Extra Confident

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From left: Exec producer Ilene Chaiken, exec producer Francie Calfo, Terrence Howard, exec producer Danny Strong, exec producer Sanaa Hamri, Gabourey Sidibe, exec producer Lee Daniels, Ta'Rhonda Jones, Grace Gealey, Kaitlin Doubleday and Trai Byers.

Sometimes all it takes is a bold lip and ripped jeans.

Anyone who's seen Empire knows that the real drama in the show are the jaw-dropping looks seen on the Fox hit drama's cast. Whether it's Cookie's hip-hugging leopard-print frocks and fur coats (worn by Taraji P. Henson) or Andre Lyon's sleek suits (on Trai Byers), Empire serves up the ultimate style moments on the small screen.

So it's only fitting that the hit TV series, returning for its second season on Sept. 23, has partnered with Saks Fifth Avenue on a curated collection inspired by TV's most badass onscreen family. The limited-edition looks will include women's ready-to-wear from Cushnie et Ochs (a label favored by the ladies of Empire), men's and women's footwear from Jimmy Choo, fine jewelry from Alexis Bittar, and handbags and accessories from MCM, available at Saks Fifth Avenue stores nationwide and saks.com this fall.

See more New York Fashion Week's Front Row

To celebrate its new fashion collaboration, Saks and Fox hosted a private party for the cast and crew, along with invited guests and reporters, at the department store's New York flagship over the weekend, where screaming fans crowded nearby for a quick snap of their favorite stars.

Since the outfits on the show scream total badass, we couldn't help but wonder what the stars wear to continue their confident attitude off set.

From a bold lip to American Eagle jeans, the cast (save for Henson who was running late from a flight delay) spills to Pret-a-Reporter on what they wear to feel extra confident.

Read more Front Row Report, Cushnie et Ochs: The 'Empire' Cast Can't Get Enough of the Label

Terrence Howard (who plays Lucious Lyon): "I like to peacock, I like John Varvatos a lot — love the flair of what he does. I love Jimmy Choo and Prada shoes."

Trai Byers (Andre Lyon): "I'm changing! I used to be a T-shirt and jeans kind of guy. I've got some sweaters now, some really thinly knit but colorful… I'm a bold guy — I like black, grey, white and blue. [Now] I'm wearing green and burgundy more. It's really looking good on me, it's great. I think it's absolutely [the influence of Empire] — I think playing Andre Lyon has made me dress a certain way. I like the way that he looks."

Kaitlin Doubleday (Rhonda Lyon): "Oooh you know what, I'm a shoe and bag whore. I can throw anything on and if I have a Saint Laurent bag on me, I'm like, 'I'm chic! [Laughs.]' But I also love my vintage custom-made Levi's. I kind of live in them."

Read more Taraji P. Henson Rocks Moschino for 'Empire's' Second Season

Grace Gealey (Anika Calhoun): "I'm really easygoing. I like really comfortable, really easy fashion and a lot of times that translate to tomboy-ish kind of look. And I have really short hair so I love to play that androgynous feel. When I'm on the red carpet, I like to glam it up but a lot of times I'll thrown on a really great hat, some boyfriend jeans, some Adidas sneakers — the black ones, not the sneaky sneak ones — and a ripped up T-shirt. I love that. You know what, I really love American Eagle ripped jeans. They're super comfortable and not super expensive."

Gabourey Sidibe (Becky): "Honestly if I'm wearing sweatpants, T-shirt — like the one thing that dresses up my outfit for me — I'll wear flip flops, as long as I'm wearing a good lip and sunglasses, boom. That's everything. I like a lot of Bobbi Brown. Bobbi Brown has a great lip pencil that's like a raspberry [color]. That's my favorite."
 
Read more Carolina Herrera Designing PJs for Terrence Howard's 'Empire' Character
 
Ta'Rhonda Jones (Porsha): "I am a harem pants-wearing type of girl — anything that's comfortable. I don't really like skirts or dresses. I love pants. I love trench coats. Anything long and trench. I love to show my legs [laughs]. As long as it's cheap and reasonable — I'm not a picky girl!"
 
Danny Strong, co-creator: "I love Thom Browne because I'm not a very tall guy. I mean, most people don't know that, so that's sort of a scoop for you. Thom Browne is real fitting. Most of my suits are Thom Browne, and some Prada and Armani. [For the weekends] A.P.C. jeans and I have all my shirts from the same place but I can't remember the name. And then here's my secret, I love cardigans and sweaters, and almost all of them are Uniqlo. Uniqlo — 30, 40 bucks — get me a cardigan; I buy three or four. Love it."
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