Lupita Nyong'o Gets Us Psyched for Spring Style In Her Latest Fashion Spread

02/10/2014 at 01:18 PM ET

Lupita Nyong'o for NY MagErik Madigan Heck/New York Magazine

At this time in 2013, Lupita Nyong’o wasn’t on fashion’s radar at all — but a lot can change in a year. Since her breakout role as Patsey in 12 Years a Slave (and subsequent amazing red carpet tour) she’s landed a Vogue feature, a Miu Miu ad campaign and now the cover of New York Magazine‘s fashion issue. The headline? “Lupita Nyong’o: From Unknown to ‘It’ Girl In Less Than a Year.”

The actress talks about her wild roller coaster ride of a year, saying that she’s feeling “stressed but blessed — I mean, I couldn’t have dreamed this up.” But making major adjustments is nothing new for Nyong’o, whose family moved from Kenya to Mexico and back again when she was a child — and who had to get used to the freedom of American university after a very regimented childhood.

“I find my freedom in structure. It was very hard to adjust to an individualistic and very liberal system,” she said of her first years in school here. “I mean, my upbringing, I would iron my clothes every night. I would plan what I wore the night before, and then I would iron it. That’s just the way my mom raised us. Then I got to Hampshire, where clothing is sometimes optional and all this kind of thing. I was mortified.”

Lupita Nyong'o for NY MagErik Madigan Heck/New York Magazine

Though the star’s red carpet collaboration with Micaela Erlanger has gotten her plenty of buzz, she’s still keeping that aspect of her life under wraps. “I don’t know why, but I like to keep that part of it very intimate and very small.” But she’s at least trying to enjoy the ride, as surreal as it may be. And we’re getting some super-gorgeous photos out of it at the same time.

For lots more from the star, visit, and tell us: What has been your favorite Nyong’o red carpet moment so far? What would you like to see her wear to the Oscars?

–Alex Apatoff

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Showing 18 comments

Erin on

Wow, this woman is gorgeous!

Happy on

She’s gorgeous and can wear ANYTHING! She looks like she’s hardly trying, I mean who can pull off wearing a CAPE and not look like they’re trying too hard? I can not WAIT to see what she wears to the Oscars!!!

Pam on

She is beautiful. Her skin is absolutely gorgeous.

itsall good nroanoke on

She is a rare beauty. Young and fresh! Keep your clothes on sweetheart….

Terry on

Lupita is so beautiful.

Kica on

There are just no words to describe her. #EVERYTHING!

1SoaringChick on

She proves that true Beauty is a quiet force and not one of boastful measure. I hope the KimKs of the world will take proper note! She’s our modern-day Iman!!

1SoaringChick on

Lupita proves that True Beauty is a quiet force and not one of boastful measure. She’s our modern-day Iman. I’m sooo living vicariously thru her many achievements!!!

Stefanie on

She could wear a paper bag and still look drop dead gorgeous!

erica on

I LOVE HER! I am so proud to see a black woman that has the confidence and pride to actually look like a black woman. No stringy European hair weave, no bleached skin, no chemical relaxer to straighten her kinky hair…ALL NATURAL the way God intended black women to be! Lupita better when that oscar her portral of Patsy was absolutely breathtaking.

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