May 7, 2014

Lupita Nyong'o: It girl on a jet pack

Lupita Nyong'o has shot precisely two feature-length films. Two. And yet, the fashion industry and the media—the engines that catapult pony-legged starlets into bona fide it girls—have embraced this woman faster than any other sexy little actress in recent history.

Turns out, Nyong'o's instafame was no accident. There's a reason why she shot to the top of the publicity and endorsements heap more quickly than even Jennifer Lawrence, the Kentucky wunderkind who won her qualifying heat (the starlet race of 2010) faster than any of her own home-state racehorses. When Winter's Bone debuted in 2010, the world could see she had talent. But, according to my insiders in the business, she blatantly and obviously didn't care about fashion. And these days, that's half of a star's job: at least pretending that you know your Stellas from your Stilas until you land a $10 million luxury endorsement deal. 

The fashion industry is to Hollywood starlets what the Iron Bank of Braavos is to Westeros. You can't reach world domination without it. Lawrence finally learned that, but it took her a year or two; she signed her first megadeal with Dior in 2012.

In contrast,  Nyong'o realized immediately that fashion--what designers she'd wear in her debut year--would largely determine much of the income she earn in the next five. She nailed a top stylist before shooting had even wrapped on her second film. Cut to today, and  she already has deals with Prada's little sister brand, Miu Miu, as well as Lancome. Not to mention the cover of every magazine worth anything.

All that said, don't confuse Nyong'o with a A-list star. Not yet. If you need a primer on why, I have your handy guide to A-listers vs. it girls right here.

Got a question about how Hollywood really works? Ask it in the feedback module to the right.

No comments :

Post a Comment