Cookie’s furs, designer bags and inexplicably large indoor hats were always destined for bigger and better things.
While Empire has already been crowned this year’s must-watch show, the Fox program is now taking on the fashion world.
The cast of the hip hop dynasty star in a new glamorous spread for Vogue magazine released on Friday.
Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard as well as their on-screen sons Trai Byers, Jussie Smollett, and Bryshere Y. Gray have all been given the Vogue treatment alongside creator Lee Daniels and guest star Naomi Campbell.
Adding some real life hip hop fashion to the mix, also joining the cast was hitmaker The Weeknd and mega model Jourdan Dunn, all of whom were photographed by the iconic Mario Testino.
Of course infamous character Cookie, played by Taraji, was always destined to be in a fashion magazine one day, so why not the September issue of Vogue.
While Cookie’s on-screen looks are perhaps a little over-the-top for the fashion bible, clearly the stylists for the shoot took inspiration from the inmate turned glamour girl’s wardrobe.
Naomi, Taraji and Jourdan all got to embrace their inner Cookie in hard to miss looks.
For the main spread, Taraji wowed in a chain mail-like sequined dress by Boss with a Cookie-approved faux fur cape by Michael Kors Collection cape.
Naomi meanwhile is the epitome of red carpet sexy in a sequined with sheer cut out Emilio Pucci dress.
Jourdan also sizzles in a pair of wide leg sequinned pants with a velvet long sleeve bodysuit.
The music empire matriarch is not just a fan favourite because of her fabulous dress sense, it is also for her sharp tongue and even sharper wit.
The force to be reckoned with is all Taraji’s doing, says co-star and on-screen ex Terrence Howard.
On Cookie’s fierceness, he told Vogue: ‘It’s all about Taraji’s choices because you never know where she’s going to come from.
‘It might be an intelligent perspective, or an observant one, or a strategic, emotional, or defensive one. What Taraji has created with Cookie is that girl who’s had to come up by whatever means necessary – she’s given her a public forum.’
Creator Lee Daniels told the magazine while the character may be larger than life, she is inspired by a real life person – his own grandmother.
The director said: ‘She was a gangster, basically – a corrupt politician in the sixties and seventies who got blacks to come out to vote. My earliest memory was her on the phone with Frank Rizzo, the mayor of Philly, and my grandmother saying, ”Motherf**ker, you better come down here with my money before I shoot yo ass.”
‘Back then you didn’t talk to white people like that.’
While Cookie and her running battles with ex husband and music studio boss Lucious Lyon (played by Terrence) amuse, the show also seeks to address issues like race and homosexuality,
Terrence even revealed to the magazine that until he was on the show, he would not have allowed his child to even be friends with someone who was gay.
The Hustle & Flow actor now claims actor Jussie Smollett – who plays his on-screen gay son and also came out in real life once the show aired – as one of his closest friends.
‘I was raised behind the homophobic curtain. When I was like eight years old, my father stood me and my three brothers in front of him. ”Are any of y’all some sissies? If I find out any of you are some sissies, I’ll cut your throat.”
‘From the moment when they had the guys kissing in the first 20 minutes of the pilot, I was like, ”You’re going to lose everyone. Black people are going to change the channel! Men are going to change the channel!”
‘I had the same views that had been programmed into so many of us. And then Jussie became my best, best friend. It was like seeing life from a whole other perspective. I was never a bigot before. At least I didn’t think I was. But I was definitely prejudiced. I wouldn’t have allowed my son to have a gay friend . . . in the past. And now I’d be like, ”That’s your friend.” Something’s changed in me.’
Season 2 of Empire returns to Fox September 22