A Winning Design: Nominee Chloe Arnold Taps Designer and Dancer Anissa Lee for Her Emmy Awards Look

What do you wear when you’re attending your first major awards ceremony—as a nominee? For me, as an independent black recording artist nominated for a Grammy in 2009, it was simply important I that wear a black designer; preferably, one as under the radar as I was.


For tap dancer and choreographer Chloe Arnold, who was nominated for a 2018 Creative Arts Emmy Award for Outstanding Choreography, she got even closer to home, drawing from a pool of talent within her own acclaimed group, Syncopated Ladies. Her designer of choice? Fellow dancer and designer Anissa Lee, who created an award-worthy ensemble for Arnold’s big night.

When we caught up with Arnold prior to the ceremony, she was understandably overwhelmed by excitement and thrilled to be following in the footsteps of her mentor, Debbie Allen. After attending the Creative Arts Ceremony on Sept. 9, she shared with The Glow Up:

“Attending the Emmys as a nominee was a surreal and unforgettable experience! It was so inspiring to be surrounded by excellence, and be a part of history, as the 5th African-American woman nominated for Outstanding Choreography in 70 years of the Emmys. I stand on the shoulders of greatness!! These trailblazers are the only to ever win: my mentor Debbie Allen (18 nominations, 3 wins: ‘82, ‘83 and ‘91) and Judith Jamison (1999).

It’s been 21 years since the last nomination for an African American woman.”

Chloe Arnold attends the 2018 Creative Arts Emmys Day 2 on September 9, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.
Chloe Arnold attends the 2018 Creative Arts Emmys Day 2 on September 9, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.
Photo: Alberto E. Rodriguez (Getty Images)

Arnold also graciously shared a bit of the creative process she and Lee went through in creating her Emmy look, which you can see above. While she didn’t take home the prize this year (which we still think she deserved for her incredible work on The Late Late Show with James Corden), Arnold looked every inch a winner in her fuchsia halter-necked gown with metallic fringe and matching clutch and earrings. And as graceful as she looked on the red carpet, she was even more so in her words about the experience:

I am filled with the strength and joy of my family, friends, and mentors. I received such incredible words of support and guidance, making this a moment that I will cherish and build upon to continue pushing open new doors of opportunity for us all. No matter the outcome, I stand proud as an Emmy nominee. This is a dream come true!


The Glow Up tip: You can watch the 2018 Emmys on Monday night at 8 p.m. EDT on NBC.

Maiysha Kai is managing editor of The Glow Up, host of The Root Presents: It's Lit! podcast and Big Beauty Tuesdays, and your average Grammy-nominated goddess next door. May I borrow some sugar?