Gabrielle Union may have begun her Hollywood career with a girl-next-door fashion sense in the late ’90s and early aughts. She broke onto the scene in sitcoms like Moesha and Sister, Sister before taking her star turn in the cheerleading comedy Bring It On after all. Since then, she’s grown into a full-fledged style chameleon, willing to try out new colors, shapes, materials, and textures at every red carpet event.
Although Union has historically taken a liking to white and black column gowns, she can also work a bright pink, rhinestoned mini dress (like the one she wore to the 2005 BET Awards,) or a sultry black beaded gown with matching cape by Zuhair Murad at the 2017 Emmys. Below, we’re taking a look back at her most impactful and boundary-pushing red carpet looks—many of which were unveiled with her husband Dwyane Wade at her side.
Union was seeing red at the 2023 Met Gala in this leather Prada look and Tiffany & Co. jewelry.
The actress packed on the sparkle in a mini Prada dress for the 2023 Tribeca Film Festival.
Union embraced ancient art for the 2022 Gotham Awards in a printed satin Fendi gown.
Union dazzled in a two-toned, black and white dress from Elie Saab’s fall/winter 2008 collection and some pretty serious, braided hair.
The actress looked rather statuesque in a glittering Atelier Versace gown, complete with a floral waist belt and dramatic train, for the 2022 Met Gala.
The fashion power couple made their presence known in Los Angeles. Wearing an Alexandre Vauthier cape dress and a plunging bodysuit, Union demonstrated her ability to create a beauty and accessories look that truly accentuates the outfit she’s chosen to wear.
The Iris Van Herpen gown Union wore to the 2021 Met Gala took over 1,400 hours to make.
Union is ethereal in Giambattista Valli couture—matching her husband, who wore a lace blazer for the evening.
For the Ralph & Russo couture spring 2020 show, Wade wore a pink velvet suit with a matching shirt and belt, while Union donned a pearl headband and a white fluffy jacket with rhinestone embroidery. Pure royalty.
Voluminous orange evening wear (by Christopher John Rogers, no less) has never looked better.
Union needs to wear more headbands, period.
The actress’ color story on this pink, gold, and feathered dress is eye-catching and fabulous.
Statement shoulders is an understatement in this Cong Tri dress.
Union’s Elie Saab gown would fit right in with the fall knitwear trend. Note the Judith Leiber clutch, bearing a tassel and the image of a crescent moon.
Union wore a highlighter yellow Prabal Gurung dress with dramatic train and matching sandals to the “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion & the Catholic Imagination” Met Gala.
In a Prada column gown, Union doesn’t just look like a shimmering Oscar statuette, she is a shimmering Oscar statuette.
A power ponytail brought this slacks-and-turtleneck look to new heights for a 2017 Good Morning America appearance.
Union’s love for a LBD got a chic upgrade in this glittering Zuhair Murad gown.
The Union-Wades are a fixture at Paris Fashion Week; here, they’re appropriately blinged-out for the Balmain menswear show in 2017.
Super-sexy in Jean Paul Gaultier couture for the 2017 Vanity Fair Oscar party.
Here, we see Union’s daring fashion side peeking out: while attending the Toronto Film Festival, she wore a Sophie Theallet dress with a matching cape and a super smoky eye.
While getting ready for the 2016 AmfAR Gala, Union and Wade were photographed at their hotel. For the event, the actress wore floor-length Prada.
Union matched her to-die-for Georgine dress with David Yurman jewels and a femme fatale shaggy lob at the 2016 Vanity Fair Oscars party.
Showing off her abs, Union wore a pair of perfectly tailored slacks and a long-sleeve crop top in 2015.
Union never shies away from a little sparkle—here, she’s wearing a glimmering Halston Heritage dress.
The actress knows her angles—especially with this deep-V gown bearing a high slit.
At the Charles James: Beyond Fashion Met Gala, Union tapped into her more daring fashion side in this feathered black and silver Prada set.
Lest we forget, Gabrielle Union is still America’s sweetheart—as shown by this classic strapless gown.
Union has always considered her beauty, accessories, and outfit as an entire entity. The proportions of her fishtail braid combined with the cutouts of her white dress and structural clutch played off of each other.
Here, Union dazzled with Michelle Obama in a silk gown for the BET Honors in 2012.
In this 1950s tea dress silhouette and peek-a-boo toe pump, Union looked every bit the classic lady.
Union’s pompadour gives this floor-length, shimmering gown even more length.
Despite Union’s proclivity for wearing black and white, she looks stunning in gem tones, too—as evidenced by this magenta gown and green pendant necklace.
Union’s sweet pink minidress is elevated by fun paillettes and a mini bag.
The actress was in her evening wear bag early on in her career, wearing this silver, slinky gown with a shimmering rhinestone purse to match.
For a visit to Las Vegas for the Billboard Music Awards, Union wore a look that mixed work and play.
We’re loving the shimmer of Union’s halter-neck dress and her flat-ironed, shoulder-length hair.
Union fully embraced the styles of the early aughts at the premiere for her first big gig—and the film she’s still known for, to this day—Bring It On.
This article was originally published on