After much anticipation, Bel-Air‘s season 2 finally premiered on February 23, 2023, right in the middle of Black History Month. The Peacock series, which started as a reimagination of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, has solidified itself in the cultural zeitgeist as a staple within a new generation — and a significant part of it is thanks to its costuming.
The clothes in the original series are still one of the prime examples of Black fashion in mainstream media, which are en vogue once more with the resurgence of late ’90s and early 2000s style trends. In season one of the Peacock series, we were drawn into the new Bel-Air thanks not only to its intricate plotlines and heartfelt character developments but also its many stellar fashion moments. Its sophomore season strives to do exactly the same and even take it up a notch in the sartorial department.
Costume designer QueenSylvia Akuchie wants the main focus of the clothes this season to be all about Black culture. Like most of us, she was first introduced to the original series as a young child, so being tasked with bringing the clothes of the reimagined version to life still feels like a dream. To celebrate the end of BHM and the beginning of Bel-Air‘s new chapter, we chatted with Akuchie about the fashion this season, how she sprinkled her Nigerian culture on the show, and what she’s excited for fans to learn through the clothes.
Teen Vogue: When were you first introduced and brought on to the Bel-Air team?
I was brought on last year around May. I got the phone call after I’d just finished another project. I was taken aback because I watched the first season and enjoyed it [so much], so getting the script for season 2 was a full-circle moment.
TV: Hillary’s outfits are to die for, and most of the internet will agree. How do you and the team start off creating what a modern Hillary would look like?
I took a huge deep dive into the original Hillary. [I wanted] to give credit to what she created in that character while also putting our modern contemporary spin on who Hillary is today. She’s an influencer. She’s an “it girl.” She’s a boss. We [looked at] what is on trend while also making it Hillary, connecting those two dots. A few silhouettes on the show are [pulled] from the ’80s and ’90s but also [feel] contemporary to now. Hillary remains authentic to the original character, but she also has her own identity.