Laverne Cox is fierce — and not just because she can pull off a bold leopard print. As an openly transgender actress playing a transgender Litchfield inmate on Orange Is the New Black, Laverne has quickly become an icon not just for the transgender community; her bravery and individualism could be a source of inspiration for just about anyone. Now, she's an Emmy-nominated actress and the first transgender person to ever grace the cover of Time. But before she won us over in an orange jumpsuit, she was just like any other adolescent, trying to find her identity. Like a lot of us with a love for fashion, she developed her self-expression through her clothes, which she spoke about with WWD:
"The way I dress is really about the message I want to send out to the world about who I am. Growing up in Alabama, I was black. I was poor. I was assigned male at birth — that's how I like to put it. These things defined me, but I'm not any of these things. Clothes were a way for me to announce to the world who I was. I am not any of these things. This is who I am."
If you follow Laverne on the red carpet, then you already know this is a woman who doesn't shy away from a sequin, an exotic print, or a body-flaunting silhouette. She's bold, beautiful, and confident with her choices, making her entrances at award shows and events all the more exciting to watch — and begging the question: what will she wear to the Emmys next Monday? While we anxiously await her arrival, we're taking a look back at her best looks so far — including a sneak peek of her Emmys dress fitting with designer Marc Bouwer. Scroll to see it all.