Director Ava DuVernay certainly knows the power of visuals. The Oscar-nominated and Emmy-winning filmmaker behind Selma and When They See Us puts nuanced and dynamic stories about the Black community on screen. But her big-picture efforts also extend to the red carpet. DuVernay expertly turns press circuits and award campaigns, often a long-tail of safe attire for filmmakers, into exciting opportunities to promote and uplift minority creators. For the 2017 Oscars, amidst so-called “Muslim Bans” by the Trump Administration, Duvernay wore a custom dress by Muslim designer Mohammed Ashi of Lebanon as a “small sign of solidarity.” She has opted for other strategically splashy moments, including a color-blocked Prada look at the 2017 Governors ball; structural Louis Vuitton at the 2022 gala for The Academy Museum; and a sequined caped look, also by Louis Vuitton, for the 2023 Academy Awards. The approach seems to go beyond merely looking good for fashion’s sake.
So it should come as no surprise Ava DuVernay was in attendance for the presentation of Louis Vuitton’s Cruise 2024 collection at the historic Palazzo Borromeo, with pals Oprah Winfrey and Gayle King by her side. DuVernay leaned into resort-minded style through ornate silver and black short paisley trousers with a coordinated jacket and leather knee-high boots.
For DuVernay, working with a renowned international brand like Louis Vuitton is self-affirming. “To be honest, as a Black woman of a certain age who isn’t a size zero, my pressure is to find a way to be myself with limited options and interest,” she tells Vogue. “That’s why my association with LV is lovely, as well as the handful of other houses, that validate how I look and who I am.”
DuVernay spotted plenty of potential future looks at the show, which featured designer Ghesquiere putting delightful spins on medieval codes. “I loved the rounded silhouettes of the cropped jackets,” she said. “I swooned at several.”
There are sure to be plenty of worthy occasions for DuVernay to wear one of the designs. The filmmaker is currently hard at work on a dramatic adaptation of Isabele Wilkerson’s incisive bestselling book Caste: The Origins of our Discontent, which sharply re-examines the role race plays in America. The film, which will star Aunjanue Ellis, Niecy Nash-Betts, Nick Offerman and others, is currently in production.
“I’m in love with this film and what we attempt to convey,” DuVernay said. “Aunjanue Ellis was fresh from her Oscar nod when she came to set with such focus and power. We filmed in Berlin and Delhi, as well as in the States… Look for us this fall.”
We’re sure DuVernay will wear plenty of masterfully high-impact outfits—perhaps a few by Louis Vuitton—for the conversation-sparking film’s release.