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Tracee Ellis Ross Loves Birkenstocks, Roses, and Things That Makes Her Heart Sing

We'll have what she's having.

tracee ellis ross
Photography by: Courtesy of Tracee Ellis Ross

As cool mom Rainbow Johnson on the hit show "`black-ish", Ellis Ross wears jumpsuits, sculptural sweaters, and superfly sneakers, sometimes all at once. But it’s her offscreen style that really turns heads. Whether she’s arriving on set in a Vetements sweatsuit and Birkenstocks, or sporting Dries Van Noten or Céline on a night out, the award-winning actress slips into one showstopping outfit after the next. She learned from the best: her mother, Diana Ross. “My mom helped me build the courage to cultivate my love of self-expression,” says Ellis Ross, who seeks out all things “joyful, bold, and unexpected.” Her verve and unapologetic strength fuel her work, too, which includes being a founding member of Time’s Up. Whatever she does, she dresses for comfort and confidence: “It comes down to what makes me feel empowered when I put it on.”


Her Essentials

“My style mantra is: Wear what makes your heart sing.”



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Photography by: Peter Ardito; Courtesy of Palais De Tokyo (incense)

The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison Vintage International, 1970; $15,

“I first read this book in high school. It rocked my core.”


L’oeil du Vert’s Hollywood Jasmine rollette, $325 for ¼ oz.,

“I wear any and all fragrances by this company.”


Rachel Comey Pitch Popover and Long Nova Pant Top, $460; and pants, $425,

“Her clothing and accessories are whimsical, intellectual, and subtly sexy.”


Astier de Villatte Palais de Tokyo incense, $50 for 125 sticks,

“It’s subtle but very present, with a warm and comfortable scent.”


Jeff’s Naturals whole Castelvetrano olives, $7.66 for 7.5 oz.,

“They’re my reach-for snack.”


Retrouvé Luminous Cleansing Elixir, $75 for 50 ml,

“It’s my skin-care staple.”


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Mountain Valley spring water, $23 for twelve 750-ml bottles,

“This is always in my pantry, along with organic lemons.”


MAC Ruby Woo Lipstick and Cherry Lip Pencil, lipstick, $18.50; and pencil, $18,

“I’ve been wearing this combo longer than I can remember. It’s powerful, sexy, and elegant.”


Gora Kadan ryokan, in Hakone, from $700 per night,

“I’d like to travel to Japan and stay here.”


Reusable straws, $7.59,

“My evening drink is Santa Cruz lemonade, Mountain Valley spring water, and ice in a big jar with a stainless steel straw.”


YSL La Laque nail polish, in Beige Leger $28,

“It’s a clean, fresh, modern nude that complements, instead of competes with, my clothing.”


Braun digital square alarm clock, $42,

“On my nightstand I have crystals, a dish filled with good-luck rocks, a vintage pushbutton telephone, and this alarm clock.”


Garden roses

“One of my favorite flowers—in all shades of pink.”


Birkenstock Monterey Exquisites, $90-$225,

“I love them with everything: a suit, a dress, sweats. No shoe is more comfortable.”


Luzern La Defense Mineral Sunscreen, $60 for 1.7 oz,

“It’s one of my go-to sunblocks.”