As the youngest inaugural poet in US history, Amanda Gorman is the voice of a new generation influencing our world with her words. Since delivering her poem, “The Hill We Climb” at the 2021 inauguration of President Joe Biden, Gorman was named as part of Time magazine’s 100 Next list, became the first poet to perform at the Super Bowl, published two bestselling books “The Hill We Climb” and “Call Us What We Carry,” was appointed an Estée Lauder Global Changemaker and starred in Prada’s Fine Jewelry Eternal Gold 2022 campaign. Ahead the activist, wordsmith, poet, changemaker and style icon shares her seven essentials.
“I wear this in my shade 8N1 Espresso,” says Gorman who is the iconic brand’s first-ever Global Changemaker and the campaign face of this lightweight matte liquid foundation. “Mrs. Estée Lauder shattered glass ceilings as a leader in business 75 years ago. Embracing this spirit, I am delighted to help inspire people around the world to do great things, to disrupt, to be confident and to be future leaders.”
“I’ve been reading ‘Four Hundred Souls,’ edited by Ibram X. Kendi and Keisha N. Blain,” says Gorman whose work focuses on issues such as oppression, feminism, race, marginalization and the African diaspora.
This New York Times bestseller takes readers on an epic 400-year journey of African American history, from 1619 to the present day through an anthology of historical essays, short stories, personal vignettes and fiery polemics.
“I read this in the eighth grade and it was the first time I had seen a dark-skinned girl on the cover of a book and that absolutely enthralled me,” Gorman says of this bestseller by Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison. “It informed my thinking on how poetic language can infuse itself into a novel and taught me how to write unapologetically with a Black feminist voice that was my own.”
“I love to comfort read. There is nothing better than sitting by the fireplace wearing fuzzy socks with a cup of hot cocoa and a copy of ‘Othello’ or ‘Hamlet,’” Gorman says. These cozy cotton Cloud Socks which are made in the US by the Black-owned brand Brother Vellies come in 17 shades including classic white, black, grey and navy.
“I love this comprehensive collection of African-American literature,” says Gorman who shares that poets like Maya Angelou, Tracy K Smith and Eve Ewing have been a constant source of inspiration to her. This massive body of work is organized chronologically and includes poetry, short stories, music, autobiography, journals, letters and folktales by over 120 writers from six defining periods in Black history.
“Sleeping on a silk pillowcase is a little luxury,” Gorman says. These 100% silk pillowcases by the Black-owned brand Grace Eleyae will not only help you to wake up refreshed and without sleep lines, but also with tangle- and frizz-free hair.
Related: The best silk pillowcases of 2023
When it comes to fashion, regal-looking headbands, hats and turbans are part of the poet’s signature style. “I love hair accessories and headbands,” says Gorman, who famously wore a red oversized padded Prada headband on Inauguration Day. Channel Gorman’s inaugural day look for yourself, with this puffy headband from Prada made from regenerated nylon yarn and featuring the Prada logo.