Quinta Brunson Is On Her Own Fashion Journey

The Emmy-winning multi-hyphenate Quinta Brunson is known for her comedic prowess. But fashion is becoming increasingly important to the writer-producer-actor—who recently signed a lucrative long-term deal with Warner Brothers. Brunson recently hit the Black Panther red carpet, resembling an inimitable Wakanda warrior in her own right. She wore a bold blue velvet and metallic gold number designed by Bibhu Mohapatra and styled by Bryon Javar (Brunson’s stylist). The star says she would have “worn a black smock if I could’ve” to the premiere event, which comes after the passing of the franchise’s lead, Chadwick Boseman. But thanks to the help and gentle urging of Javar, Brunson landed on a look equal parts eye-catching and tasteful.

Brunson’s gradual and considered journey towards style savvy is mirrored through Janine, the internet-beloved lead character she plays on the feel-good workplace comedy Abbott Elementary. The knockout Omicron-era hit from last year began airing its highly anticipated second season in late September. Things have changed a bit for the Abbott staff since we last saw them. Brunson teases an interesting style progression for Janine, who is newly single and, as Brunson puts it, “seeking structure,” over the course of the season.

Another interesting on-screen fashion moment for the booked and busy comedian: appearing in the newly released Weird Al-biopic as ’80s-era Oprah Winfrey. Brunson says she strived to be nuanced in her imitation and study old episodes of Winfrey’s influential talk show, but not box herself in too much. That’s because, much like the real-life figure at the heart of the film, Weird is a freewheeling parody-laden comedy. Nothing should be taken seriously in the film. Still, Brunson worked hard to deliver an engaging and believable version of Oprah on-screen. In one scene, she wears a peak ’80s Oprah outfit: a DVF-style wrap dress accessorized with a large belt around the waist. Voilà! Brunson conjures up memories of VHS tapes and giant scrunchies.

“Ask someone to do an Oprah impression and they’ll go, ‘YOU GET A CAR!’ or ‘OPRAH!'”  Brunson says. “But that’s not really layered. It was more about who she was when she was just talking.” There was also a careful survey of the voluminous and blown-out hair the star rocked throughout the decade. (Hey, it was the ’80s!)

Below, Brunson unpacks becoming Oprah and the style journey viewers can expect on season two of Abbott Elementary.