Saycon Sengbloh: Flower Child


“Saycon Sengbloh has no fear—whether it be onstage or on the red carpet.

She’s starring in Danai Gurira’s Eclipsed, which tells the story of five woman brought together by excruciating circumstances during the Liberian civil war. The show is set to open on March 6. Sengbloh plays the eldest of three women living in sex slavery, and she must inspire confidence in and provide safety for the younger girls she lives with. These women are “beautifully human” and experience “all the ups and downs that you or I might have” but in the heightened environment of a war zone. “For that, they deserve our attention, love, and empathy,” Sengbloh says.

Offstage, Sengbloh explores spring trends: bright colors, floral patterns, and feminine ruffles, and she insists the key to pulling off these looks is to have confidence and embrace the statement, maybe by adding a bold lip color. Putting flowers in her hair brings Sengbloh back to her time in the 2009 Broadway revival of Hair. “I want to make a flower crown and wear it every day,” she says. While she does love the “thrill of nature” and calls herself a “flower child,” she says real flowers can be a lot of work. “I’ve been toying with faux flower arrangement ideas at the craft store because I need to work on my green thumb,” she adds.

The ruffles take her back to Easter Sundays from her childhood. “My mother would get me a Jessica McClintock dress and shiny shoes!” she recalls. Dresses are a staple in Sengbloh’s closet, and she feels at her best when she’s in a dress that shows off her “décolletage.” She also relies on a backpack, particularly when carting scripts and gear to rehearsal, but she always makes sure the bag matches her outfit. She is also always prepared for a windy day with a beautiful scarf to wear around her neck or in her hair.

Sengbloh shops on a budget, and Zara and H&M are her go-to stores. When looking for pieces that are “off-the-beaten-path,” she turns to an Etsy designer, Rueben Reuel, who designs African and European style clothing for Demestiks New York. Other favorites include Edwing D’Angelo and Korto Momolu for their “innovative and unexpected” designs.

While it may still be cold outside, Sengbloh is ready for warmer weather, and bold colors are a welcome change for her—most of her clothes are neutral or black.

“It’s fun to get ready for Spring and jump into these bright frocks!”

Styling by James Brown III
Additional Styling by Jake Sokoloff
Hair and Makeup by Erin Acker
Clothing by DVF, BCBG Maxazria, Tracy Reese