While a recent episode of Succession saw Kendall Roy surveilling guests’ fashion choices at his painfully hip 40th birthday party—trying to coerce his brother Connor into taking off his stodgy quilted jacket and calling out someone’s “orthopedics”—one attendee was quietly killing it in all-black Proenza Schouler. That would be Naomi Pierce, the media heiress with a vendetta against the Roy family (and Kendall’s newish girlfriend), whose modern, monochromatic style has become a refreshing counterpoint to the staid boardroom attire that prevails at Waystar Royco. Season two of fashion was Siobhan’s with her blunt bob, smart turtlenecks and Dietrich-esque trousers. In season three, with all due respect to Shiv, Succession’s ascendent style icon is Naomi.
Naomi’s greatest hits have a satisfying consistency. In an email, Succession’s costume designer Michelle Matland says that she chose a black and white color palette for Naomi in order to highlight the character’s “extremely focused and clear-minded” nature. In the first episode of the season, she rolls up to Kendall’s war room wearing a trim black Celine jacket with gold buttonsBlack Feel Studio jeans and black kitten-heel mules. In the third, she attends an event in a strapless black and white Marina Moscone top, black trousers, and a thick, chain choker and bracelet. In the seventh “Too Much Birthday,”Directed by Lorene Scafaria—she echoes both looks in a strapless black Proenza Schouler top with big gold buttons running down the front, the bottom few undone to reveal a slice of midriff.
“Naomi’s not precious,”Actor Annabelle Dexter-Jones tells me over Zoom a few days before Thanksgiving, when I ask about her character’s preference for long strapless tops and trousers. “It is very elegant and feminine, but at the same time, it felt a little more tomboyish than a gown.”
Despite the designer names in Naomi’s closet, Dexter-Jones doesn’t see her as trendy or even heavily invested in the world of fashion. Naomi’s taste runs toward the classic, but it’s very different from the preppy, old money aesthetic embodied by the rest of the Pierce family. (Matriarch Nan Pierce played by Cherry JonesThis applies to headbands and silk neck scarves as well as crisp white shirts. “She’s the rebellious one in her family. She’s the black sheep,” says Dexter-Jones. “[Her look] has an Upper East Side feel to it, but she likes to fuck it up.”
Dexter-Jones wore a gray crewneck underneath a green sweater on the day of our Zoom. Her short hair was pulled up in a very unNaomi ponytail. Though in real life she doesn’t do heels during the day and rarely puts on jewelry (“I lose things, and it’s too traumatic”Dexter Jones found herself channeling Naomi while enhancing her own style during season three. She’d liked Marina Moscone from afar before, but after experiencing the brand’s clothes up close as Naomi, she picked a pinstripe suit and a halter top from its Resort 2022 collection for Succession’s season-three premiereNew York.
Naomi Pierce’s wardrobe has let Dexter-Jones exercise the “bit of a WASP fetish”She learned these skills while attending private schools in New York City. “I think I was one of two Jews in my grade. It wasn’t very diverse,”She says. “When I was younger, I would fantasize about my friends’ homes that were full of toile. The wallpaper matched the couch, which matched the carpet. There was something that was so comforting about that to me—the order of it all.”
Dexter-Jones is from a creative family. Her parents are jewel designers. Ann Dexter Jones(whose chain pieces Naomi wears on the show) and Foreigner guitarist Mick Jones,Music producer is one of her siblings. Mark Ronson designer Charlotte Ronson,DJ Samantha Ronson “Not to get all Psych 101, but I think that my own personal life growing up was pretty chaotic,” Dexter-Jones says of the appeal of the aesthetic consistency she saw in her friends’ homes. As an adult, she occasionally channels that childhood fantasy into her personal style, but finds that she can’t fully commit to it. She insists that it is possible. “I get to really do that with Naomi.”
In some ways, Naomi’s put-together look is a balm for the inner turmoil she’s experiencing this season, as she gets wrapped up in a family whose tabloids hounded her at a low point in her life. For all of Kendall’s ridiculous stunts and childish outbursts—including one over the perfectly nice birthday present Naomi gives him—there’s no doubt in Dexter-Jones’s mind that Naomi cares for him deeply. “Choosing to be with someone who’s associated with this event in my life that was very traumatic doesn’t make logical sense, because it’s an emotional choice,”Dexter Jones, speaking for her character. “There is some strange comfort in that dysfunction.”
Dexter-Jones sees Naomi as the type of woman who would dress up when she’s struggling emotionally—the classic psychological trick of fortifying oneself from the outside in. Between the finale of season two, when Naomi is unceremoniously dispatched from the Roy family yacht while on vacation, and the start of season three, she’s gone and chopped her hair into a chic, slightly messy blonde bob. “She had this shitty experience on the boat, and I come back and just want to cut my hair,”Dexter-Jones was her own hairdresser Ashley Javier,To do the job. “I wanted it to look more expensive,”She continues.