Lupita Nyong’o was catapulted into the fashion industry’s awareness during the publicity tour for 12 Years a Slave in 2014. The actress was widely praised for her stylish turns on the red carpet, created in collaboration with Micaela Erlanger, throughout the tour that comprised of more than 60 international events. Their collaboration culminated in Nyong’o wearing custom Prada to receive her best supporting actress Oscar.
In a show of extreme confidence, for so newly established an actress, Lancôme appointed Nyong’o a brand ambassador, joining Julia Roberts, Kate Winslet and Penélope Cruz. The Mexican-born Kenyan was the first black ambassador for the brand. Nyong’o said she was proud to represent Lancôme, adding, “Beauty should not be dictated, but should instead be an expression of a woman’s freedom to be herself.” US Vogue reported that at the press launch she described, “the sensation of having a flower bloom inside her when the Sudanese-born Alek Wek appeared on the modelling scene in the mid-nineties.”
Building on the success of their relationship during awards season in 2014, Miuccia Prada chose Nyong’o to become the face of Miu Miu for the season, along with Bella Heathcote, Elle Fanning and Elizabeth Olsen.
Nyong’o's status as a fashion plate was cemented when Anna Wintour selected her to appear on American Vogue’s July 2014 cover. Describing the shoot, Phyllis Posnick, Vogue’s executive fashion editor said, “She knows the camera, she knows her angles.” The actress has since appeared in box office hits Us, Black Panther and Star Wars: Forces of Destiny.