Cookie Lyon is not a woman trying to fly under the radar. Not only is Empire's heroine a rags-to-riches story, but she spent 17 years in prison in the process, and that kind of forced sacrifice did not inspire in her the desire to go unnoticed. Instead, Taraji P. Henson's funny, scrappy, incredibly quotable character goes for full-on, in-your-face glamor, and she often does it with a great bag in her hand. A bag that she might hit you with.
When you combine Cookie's nouveau riche backstory and irrepressible personality with the opulence of the music industry, you get all of the fun parts of fashion that most women try to incorporate in spare, "tasteful" ways, filtered through the lens of Empire's meticulous wardrobe and art direction. The palette is tightly edited, with lots of black mixed with metallics and leopard, finished in rich textures and embellishments and with an occasional pop of bright color. (There was a purple fur last season that I still think about.) Cookie Lyon is always looking you in the face and daring you to call her tacky, and maybe we could all use a little bit more of that in our personal styles.
Below, we've selected 15 bags that have a little bit of that Cookie magic; on their own, they can all be incorporated into even a sedate wardrobe. For the full Cookie Effect, pair them with a perfectly matched body-con dress and sky high heels. The second season of Empire debuts tonight on FOX.
Alaïa Petal Laser-Cut Python Tote
$6,450 via Net-a-Porter
Alexander McQueen Knuckle Duster Clutch
$2,995 via Net-a-Porter
Balenciaga Shearling Classic City Bag
$2,295 via Balenciaga
Chanel Python 2.55 Flap Bag
Christian Louboutin Lucky L Fringe Hobo
$1,995 via Net-a-Porter
Dolce & Gabbana Monica Studded Bag
$2,695 via Neiman Marcus
Fendi Peekaboo Calf Hair Bag
$6,750 via Net-a-Porter
Givenchy Nightingale Micro Fur Satchel
$4,490 via Neiman Marcus
Gucci Jackie Soft Crocodile Bag
$40,000 via Gucci
Louis Vuitton Monogram Vernis Lockit PM Bag
$2,580 via Louis Vuitton
MCM Tulip Small Satchel
$1,495 via Bloomingdale's
Nancy Gonzalez Loop Crocodile and Mink Bag
$4,550 via Neiman Marcus
Ralph Lauren Leopard Soft Ricky Bag
$3,250 via Neiman Marcus
Saint Laurent Soft Punk Nano Leopard Sac de Jour Bag
$2,390 via Nordstrom
Valentino Glam Lock Bag
$2,945 via Neiman Marcus
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