Michael B. Jordan's Stylist Breaks Down His Year of "Elevated" Fashion

11:55 AM 12/14/2018

by Lindsay Weinberg

Ade Samuel dishes on the 'Black Panther' star's red carpet looks, some featuring black designers.

John Shearer/Getty Images; Frazer Harrison/Getty Images; Daniel Zuchnik/WireImage

"Elevated" is the word stylist Ade Samuel uses to describe Michael B. Jordan's Creed II style. The actor had a huge year beginning with Black Panther's release on Feb. 16, and Samuel has been working with Jordan since the Met Gala in May to craft his red carpet looks. She says she's inspired by the "vintage vibe" of Hollywood from the '60s and '70s to push new silhouettes for the super-villain star. "I’m really inspired by the luxury of Hollywood glam and just finding a way to modernize it for today," Samuel tells The Hollywood Reporter.

So what's to come on the red carpet this awards season? "You can expect a lot of fun, that’s all I can say," says Samuel, who also dresses Daniel Kaluuya and Letitia Wright. She aims for their upcoming Golden Globes — and perhaps Oscars — ensembles to reflect the "power" of the film's all-black superheroes.

"We’re just getting started and I think that’s the beauty of it. We’re just getting started," she adds of working with Jordan, who is the new global face of Coach menswear. Here is a look at his year in fashion. 

  • 'Black Panther' Premiere

    Jordan arrived at the star-studded Black Panther premiere in Los Angeles, where his embellished shoes stole the show (not quite — the film itself began with a standing ovation).

  • New York Fashion Week

    Jordan attended Marvel Studios' "Black Panther Welcome To Wakanda" event during New York Fashion Week in February. The burnt color palette and beautiful caramel coat demonstrate the range he can pull off. 

     

  • Met Gala

    Samuel first began working with Jordan at the Met Gala. To the May 7 extravaganza, he wore a pinstripe suit from Off-White, the streetwear brand by Louis Vuitton's Virgil Abloh, which was named the hottest fashion company in the world this year. 

    "We wanted to really make a statement on the carpet, so that was our moment to really push the envelope and do a different silhouette that he hasn’t worn before," Samuel says. "This was a great moment for an African-American designer to work with one of the top African-American actors." She added that it stuck to the Heavenly Bodies theme but kept it "classic" to Jordan.

     
  • MTV Movie and TV Awards

    For Samuel's second look with the star, she wanted to take a "different perspective of what Hollywood glam and menswear looks like." She emphasized textured by pairing a black bomber jacket with a dressy shirt and eggplant pants (thanks to Dsquared2 and Louboutin, plus a Piaget watch).

    "The reason I loved it so much was because I thought the interesting effect of wearing the printed pants, playing off of the casual red carpet of the MTV Movie and TV Awards, was a fresh and new take for him," Samuel says of the June 16 outfit. 

     

  • Hollywood Film Awards

    "That was an amazing one," Samuel says of designer Riccardo Tisci's work with Burberry. "Michael loves double-breasted suiting ... I loved the uniform element of it." She appreciated the muted grey tone and how the gold buttons elevated the "sophisticated" look for the Nov. 4 Hollywood Film Awards. "The moment he put it on, we’re both looked like, 'Oh we love it.'" 

     
  • 'Creed II' New York Premiere

    Jordan wanted this Creed II style to be as matured as his character in the Creed sequel, Samuel says. "That idea of that character was what we wanted to translate onto the red carpet," she adds. They turned to Givenchy for an all-black tuxedo "that feels very luxurious and clean" for the Nov. 14 premiere.

    "He’s one of the most-respected actors, especially within the African American community, and I think showing the world that you can be elevated in your own premiere ... it's important," Samuel says. 
     
  • Governors Awards

    "We really wanted to wear something white. Michael hadn’t explored the color white in a suit in a very long time, so we wanted to bring that color back into his wardrobe," Samuel says of the Ermenegildo Zegna couture for the Governors Awards on Nov. 18. She only wanted one pop of white with the jacket and kept the trousers and shirt sleek and black.

  • 'Creed II' European Premiere

    "The beautiful part about this one was again, just taking things back to the culture. A. Sauvage is a young black designer," Samuel says of House A. Sauvage, which has 25,000 followers on Instagram. She met the designer at an L.A. press preview a couple years ago and relished in his attention to detail and intricacies, adding it was just a matter of waiting for the "right time and right moment" before placing it on a client (turned out it was the Nov. 28 London premiere). "As a young designer, it was such an important moment to put him in that brand and really just support the talent that we have out there."
     
    Ultimately Samuel says of Jordan's Creed II style — including the rare custom Louwe suit he wore to the South Africa premiere — "when he's in Creed mode, he's a little slimmed down, because he was done with the role; you'll see there's a little more elevation in the way that we're dressing him."