Sterling K Brown69th Primetime Emmy Awards, Arrivals, Los Angeles, USA - 17 Sep 2017

Sterling K. Brown heads into Sunday’s Emmy awards with his second nomination, this time for “This Is Us,” and will be dressed for the occasion in a Valentino tuxedo.

Brown was an Emmy winner last year for “American Crime Story,” for which he was also nominated for a Golden Globe; this time around at the Emmys he is up for outstanding lead actor in a drama series for “This Is Us,” making him the first African-American actor to be nominated in that category since 2001.

After Sunday’s awards, Brown has a busy fall ahead of himself; “This Is Us” returns to NBC on September 26, and his film “Marshall” — about a young Thurgood Marshall with Chadwick Boseman, Dan Stevens and Kate Hudson — hits theaters October 13. In 2018 he’ll be seen in “Black Panther” with Lupita Nyong’o and Michael B. Jordan; “Hotel Artemis” with Jenny Slate and Sofia Boutella, and “The Predator” with Olivia Munn and Jacob Tremblay.

“Like I always say, it’s better busy than bored,” he says.

WWD caught up with Brown, who works with stylist Naz Meknat, after a fitting at Valentino to talk about his Emmys night look and how he preps for the red carpet.

WWD: How did you land on this Valentino tux?

Sterling K. Brown: [It’s my] first time wearing Valentino. I went through lots of different suits this year in terms of vetting it, and this one just kind of popped. I try to go with something that is very clean, simple and elegant for the Emmys. For different award shows you may go with a bit more flair, but for the Emmys you want to go classically cool, and this Valentino evoked exactly that. It’s just sleek and elegant and a brother feels like a million bucks in it and I can’t wait to actually get a chance to rock it on the carpet.

Sterling K. Brown at his fitting at Valentino 

WWD: How do you describe your style when it comes to the red carpet?

S.K.B.: My sense of style is in process, but I know what I like when I see it. I have an athletic build, so I need something that sort of shows where the shoulders come out and where the waist comes in; that taper is really important. The lapel has to be not overly prominent — what I’m looking for is something that doesn’t draw too much attention to any one thing in particular, but highlights an overall sense of elegance — that’s what I want. If something pops too much, then I’m drawing too much attention to one particular aspect — I want the whole ensemble to just sort of flow together.

WWD: What about accessories for the tux?

S.K.B.: You want to accessorize as well — I’m looking forward to trying on watches and see what we have. If there’s any flair to my whole outfit, it may be a fun sock.

WWD: What do you bring with you onto the carpet?
S.K.B.: One thing that I will probably bring that is sort of fashion-tangential is a fan, because it is hot as balls. You have to do something — you spend all this time making yourself look like a million bucks and you start melting and you don’t want to get makeup on your shirt. A fan is very helpful. [I’ll also bring] a nice pair of sunglasses depending on whether we’re inside or outside so I’m not squinting into the sun while I’m trying to take pictures. You need to hide a snack somewhere that’s not easily seen so when you need something to recharge you can pull it out of your pocket and keep it moving. Pistachios, beef jerky is good, and then any kind of bar. Multiple bars.

WWD: Aside from “This Is Us,” who are you rooting for?

S.K.B.: I love “Feud;” I’m always rooting for my man Ryan Murphy and everything that he does. And I love “The Handmaid’s Tale” — we’re both nominated in the same category but I think it’s an outstanding show and I really want to see Elisabeth Moss walk up on that stage and get an award.

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