Ziwe may have made a name for herself by putting her interviewees on the spot with uncomfortably pointed questions—first on her highly watched Instagram lives, and later on her eponymous Showtime talk show, which ran for two seasons from 2021-22—but during her rise as an Internet favorite personality, she’s also become known for a bold fashion sense.
From the start, Ziwe has spoken through fashion as much as through her one-liners. While asking her guests questions like, “How many Black friends do you have?” at the height of the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests (a question that lends itself to the name of her new hilarious book of essays, Black Friend, out now via Abrams), Ziwe might wear latex, opera-length gloves paired with an Adidas tube top; or a hot pink top with matching puffy headband.
She’s also a regular presence at fashion week, walking for designers like Mugler, popping up front row at shows like Loewe and Miu Miu, and appearing on the carpet of events like the CFDA Awards and the Victoria’s Secret revival (or seated next to bestie Emily Ratajkowski at the U.S. Open). Below, Ziwe tells us about her very tactile approach to personal style:
When did fashion first become important to you?
Probably when I laid eyes on Lizzie McGuire, and saw the fits that she was absolutely getting off with her platform sandals. I dressed like Hilary Banks from Fresh Prince as a child.
How would you describe your approach to getting dressed now?
Color is king for me. I love to wear bright colors, it makes me feel better about everything. I also am really tactile. If it’s a marabou or, like, a velvet, I’m really attracted to it. Because I identify as a baby—I need to