Exclusive: Behind ‘When They See Us’ Star Jharrel Jerome’s Emmy-Winning Look
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Tonight was full of firsts for Jharrel Jerome, the breakout star of Ava DuVerney’s Netflix miniseries, When They See Us. Following his emotional performance as Korey Wise, one of the Exonerated Five, the New Yorker earned his first Emmy’s nomination. Tonight Jerome lived out his wildest dreams, not only attending the awards ceremony for the first time, but winning the award for lead actor in a limited series or a movie. 

For the pivotal night, ESSENCE caught up Jerome’s stylist Adam Ballheim to get the the inside scoop on what it was like preparing the actor for his first Emmy Awards red carpet and how he created his timeless look.

I love how happy the suit made Jharrel feel. Across multiple fittings and many suits, we kept coming back to this one- it felt right from the jump.”

ESSENCE: How would you describe Jharell’s look for the night?

Ballheim: I’d describe it as smart, classic and chic.

ESSENCE: How were you able to incorporate Jharrel’s individual tastes into the wardrobe for such a special night?

Ballheim: This look is a perfect balance of both modern and classic style. Modern updates to traditional suiting like, opting for a fun off-grey color suit with thin lapels finished with crystal embellished Christian Louboutin oxfords all match Jharrel’s personality and vibe perfectly.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – SEPTEMBER 22: Jharrel Jerome attends the 71st Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 22, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)


ESSENCE: How did you decide on the designer that Jharrel wore tonight?

Ballheim: The Prada fashion house has been incredibly supportive of Jharrel for a while now, and it’s always great to honor those relationships. Jharrel wore Prada to one of the premieres for “When They See Us.” Wearing Prada again for the Emmys was an excellent way to finish this whirlwind experience.

ESSENCE: What do you love most about his look?

Ballheim: I love how happy the suit makes Jharrel feel. From the first time he tried it on to the moment he walked out the door for the Emmys ceremony, and every time in-between, it seemed like he lit up every single time he put it on. I knew immediately that it was the right choice.


ESSENCE: What would readers be most surprised to know the most about this look?

Ballheim: This was the very first suit we tried on in our Emmys fitting. Across multiple fittings and many suits, we kept coming back to this one- it felt right from the jump.

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