Diversity on the champagne carpet: The best 2023 Oscars looks by designers of color

Diversity on the 2023 Oscars champagne carpet

Show-stopping looks by designers of color take center stage at the 95th Academy Awards.
Published: March 20, 2023 | Updated: March 27th, 2023 at 1:30 pm

While actors of color led nominations at this year’s 95th Academy Awards, designers of color were scarce on the Oscars champagne carpet. Hollywood’s biggest night would have been a great opportunity for stylists and attendees to showcase non-white designers, but this unfortunately was not the case. However, the celebrities who did wear looks by designers of color definitely stood out – here are the best designs by fashion designers of color at the 2023 Oscars.

Jason Wu

Zimbabwean-American actress Danai Gurira wore a black gown by Taiwanese-Canadian designer Jason Wu. Previously the  creative director of Hugo Boss from 2013 to 2018, Wu initially gained recognition for designing Michelle Obama’s gown at her first Inaugural Ball in 2009. His brand is known for blending sportswear and luxury in a feminine manner. He received the Swarovski Award for Womenswear at the CFDA Fashion Awards 2010, the Fashion Star Award at The Fashion Group International Night of Stars 2015 and the International Designer of Year at the Canadian Arts & Fashion Awards in 2016.

HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 12: Danai Gurira attends the 95th Annual Academy Awards on March 12, 2023 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images)


Hanako Maeda, the Japanese founder of NYC-based clothing brand ADEAM, dressed American actor Harry Shum Jr. The brand is known for its fusion of styles from Tokyo and New York City, as well as using Japanese techniques in modern and creative designs. Oprah Winfrey, Anne Hathaway and Gemma Chan are among the many celebrities who have worn ADEAM previously. In 2020, Maeda collaborated with Naomi Osaka to create comfortable yet powerful pieces for a collection inspired by their mutual Japanese heritage. Maeda also collaborated with Carolyn Murphy in 2022 to create a fully sustainable collection to celebrate 10 years of ADEAM, as well as their shared love for Japan and eco-friendly designs.


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A post shared by Harry Shum Jr (@harryshumjr)

Vera Wang

Mindy Kaling, Laverne Cox and Janelle Monáe all opted for looks by Vera Wang, who has become an incredibly well-known American designer over the past few decades. Wang first began designing couture wedding dresses in 1989, and later expanded her brand into ready-to-wear, menswear, fragrances, jewelry and more. She has designed wedding dresses for many celebrities, including Ariana Grande, Alicia Keys, Kim Kardashian and Victoria Beckham, and she has also designed costumes for numerous figure skaters. At only 23 years old, Wang was one of the youngest fashion editors of Vogue. She won the Womenswear Designer of the Year award at the CFDA Fashion Awards 2005 and the Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award at the CFDA Fashion Awards 2013.


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Monique Lhuillier

American dancer and actress Chloe East wore a black gown crafted by Filipino designer Monique Lhuillier. Lhuillier started her brand as a bridal gown designer and first became known for designing Britney Spears’ wedding dress in 2004. Her husband joined her as CEO of the brand, and she has since branched out to ready-to-wear and evening wear. Over the years, her romantic yet simple looks have been worn on red carpets by Taylor Swift, Blake Lively, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Lopez and many others. Lhuillier received the Medal of Honor by the former President of the Philippines in 2006.


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A post shared by Monique Lhuillier (@moniquelhuillier)

Dickson Lim

American actor and TikToker Reece Feldman wore a suit by Malaysian designer Dickson Lim. The brand is still relatively new — it was founded in 2020 when Lim was 19 and the youngest designer to debut a collection at Kuala Lumpur Fashion Week. His unconventional and progressive designs have been worn by celebrities such as Mason Alexander Park and Bretman Rock. While he has had no formal fashion training (besides working for his parents, who are tailors) he is dedicated and passionate about his brand and was declared a “Fashion Name To Know Now” by British Vogue in 2022.


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A post shared by DICKSON LIM (@thedicksonlim)