rachel antonoff black and white cookie sweaterWe know it’s hard to find the right gifts for your loved ones, so we’ve compiled a ton of fashion and beauty-focused gift guides tailored to a range of interests and budgets. Check out our latest below and find more right here.

If there’s one thing that was made clear this past fashion month, it’s that the crossover between fashion and food is stronger than ever: Brands like Dauphinette and Puppets and Puppets incorporated baked-goods imagery into their collections, while Collina Strada sent not one, but two variations of a crystallized head of broccoli down its runway. This is great news for the fashionable foodies in your life.

Though it can feel intimidating to shop for someone with a food obsession (especially if you’re not much of chef yourself), there are plenty of wearable snacks to go around this season. Whether someone is a cookie connoisseur, needs an elevated version of their preschool pasta necklace or wants to hang a bread-inspired lamp on their wall, the gallery below has your gifting (and their receiving) needs covered.

Later in the day, after a well-deserved nap, I head out to join Coel for a sunset dinner in Kokrobite, a town on the Atlantic coast an hour away known for its white-sand beaches. According to her, the grilled-fish platter at this one spot is worth the drive alone. I’ve been encouraged to pack my bathing suit; she’s hoping we can squeeze in a dip before we eat. When I arrive though, it seems all bets are off. The sun’s already low on the horizon, and I find her at the bar on the beach under a big Jacquemus straw hat, dressed in a peasant-style Ganni sundress and flat sandals. Without her enormous skates, she appears petite and delicate, though her energy still radiates. “You should try some of this, it’s home-brewed,” she says, tapping the side of her glass. The owner of the lodge, a cheerful barrel-chested man named Lion, pours me a shot of Akpeteshie, a Ghanaian liquor made from distilled palm wine. The taste is sweet with a surprisingly strong finish, a drink better sipped than slammed.
The place has a reassuringly soulful vibe. There are lights strung from reclaimed wooden beams, colorful murals decorating the walls, and thatched beach huts festooned with flags. The backdrop—lush coconut groves and endless sandy beach—looks like something from the movies. If you can believe it, the restaurant’s name is Wakanda, after the fictional African country of superhero legend Black Panther. “My 10-year-old son came up with it,” says Lion proudly.
In November, Coel will appear in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, the second in Marvel’s wildly popular Afrofuturist series. News of her role immediately lit up the internet, energizing Coel fans and comic book aficionados alike. For the actor, joining the ensemble cast was a wish fulfilled; she’d been one of the many young hopefuls who auditioned for the first Black Panther movie while she was still a student at the Guildhall drama school in London. “I think for a lot of people it was the first time we’d seen some sort of representation on a very mainstream platform about the magic of Africa, the magic of the people, our ancestors,” she says. “Coming here, you do feel something magical.”
By the time Black Panther was released, Coel was making a name for herself with Chewing Gum, the hilarious one-woman play turned BAFTA award–winning sitcom she created that follows the life of Tracey Gordon, an amateurish 20-something on a mission to lose her virginity. She remembers attending the London premiere of Black Panther in a halter-neck dress she’d made out of wax print fabric her mother had brought back from Accra. “I thought to myself, I’m definitely going in something African,” she says. Unbeknownst to Coel, director Ryan Coogler already had his eye on her, and he noticed how easily she mingled with cast members. “Aneka, the character Michaela plays, is kind of a rebel,” says Coogler. “It made a lot of meta sense with Michaela being someone who is pushing the industry forward and carving out her own space.”

The role Coel would play in the Black Panther sequel was still taking shape when Chadwick Boseman, who starred as the beloved titular superhero, died at the age of 43 after a long battle with colon cancer. When filming began last year, “it felt like the entire cast was processing grief,” she says. “There was a sense that we have to bring this baby home in the name of Chadwick. I thought to myself, I’m rolling up my sleeves and I’m getting in. I don’t need to be front and center, I’m here to support.” Her castmate and friend Winston Duke describes the emotional experience as a bonding moment. “She really became part of the family,” he says.
Coel wasn’t the only newcomer on set. Ultimate Fighting champ Kamaru Usman has a cameo in the movie, and the pair became fast friends. “We’re like brother and sister,” says Usman. In the midst of filming in Atlanta, Coel and Duke traveled to see Usman face his UFC rival Colby Covington at Madison Square Garden in New York. She was immediately enthralled. “I was going through a rough time, and Usman said, ‘You need to go fighting,’ ” says Coel, who picked up the sport a month later and now trains with a Canadian mixed martial arts fighter in London. “It’s like physical chess.”

In comic book lore, Aneka is a captain and combat instructor in the Dora Milaje, the fearless all-female crew of warriors who protect the kingdom of Wakanda. As the story goes, she falls in love with her warrior colleague Ayo, played by Florence Kasumba, and their forbidden affair causes disruption in the ranks. “That sold me on the role, the fact that my character’s queer,” Coel says. “I thought: I like that, I want to show that to Ghana.” Like many African countries, Ghana has draconian antigay laws dating back to the colonial era. Most recently though, a bill has been put to parliament calling for some of the most oppressive anti-LGBTQ+ legislation the continent has ever seen. If passed, it could make identifying as gay or even an ally a second-degree felony, punishable by five years in prison. “People say, ‘Oh, it’s fine, it’s just politics.’ But I don’t think it is just politics when it affects how people get to live their daily lives,” she says. “That’s why it felt important for me to step in and do that role because I know just by my being Ghanaian, Ghanaians will come.”
She’s challenged conventions before: I May Destroy You struck like lightning in 2020, just as the world was shutting down, igniting searching conversations around sexual violence and consent. In fact, the series’ cultural impact is still being felt. In January, a bill to legally classify stealthing—the act of removing a condom during sex without consent—as a crime was passed in Chile as a direct result of a scene Coel had written. Maite Orsini, a congresswoman from Santiago, was inspired to lobby for the law after watching one particularly chilling episode of the series. Coel compares the experience of seeing the world react to her work to flying a kite—an act she set in motion but that has taken on life of its own, buoyed by a collective force. “There’s this huge thing in the air and maybe at one point I was holding the string, but now I’m just gazing up with everybody else,” she says.
The real-life events that I May Destroy You is based on took place when she was working on season two of Chewing Gum. While up late writing at the office, she headed out to meet a friend at a bar. Sometime that night, her drink was spiked, she says, and she was sexually assaulted. As she tells it, the emotional trauma she suffered has been tempered by confronting it head-on. “I don’t think I really understood how much making a show would make this thing lose its power,” she says. “Now it’s just a scar like these ones.” She points to her knees.

And yet certain injuries linger. Since the assault, she’s experienced unexplained blackouts, most recently while having dinner with her cousin and a friend in New York, an episode her doctors say could have been triggered by another spiked drink. “All I can tell you is that it’s the most scared I’ve ever been,” says Coel, who remembers stumbling toward the restaurant’s exit before losing her vision for 15 minutes. “The strange thing is when I was spiked, there’s a complete memory gap,” she says. She doesn’t remember falling, as her character does in the show. “There’s no memory of fear.”
Coel first shared her story publicly at the Edinburgh International Television Festival in 2018, where she was invited to deliver the prestigious keynote speech, known as the MacTaggart lecture, the first Black woman in the event’s 42-year history to do so. In the address, she spoke candidly about the experiences that had shaped her perspective, including her harrowing assault, the racism she faced at drama school, and the isolation she felt in the entertainment world. The speech, which formed the basis of her 2021 book Misfits: A Personal Manifesto, would also serve as a creative springboard for I May Destroy You. Its import was clear: The industry needed to be held accountable, to be more transparent, to lift up voices like hers that had been silenced for far too long.
And yet physically her voice was failing her.

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