Red-carpet rollout for the Golden Globes honors ambassador and Idris Elba’s daughter Isan


The 2019 awards-show season officially kicked off Thursday as the Hollywood Foreign Press Association literally rolled out the red carpet for this weekend’s Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills. Co-hosts Sandra Oh and Andy Samberg were on hand to do the honors alongside this year’s Golden Globe ambassador, Isan Elba, the 17-year-old daughter of actor and upcoming Coachella DJ Idris Elba.

The setting

Alex Michael May, left, Stella Simona, Veronica Merrell and Vanessa Merrell at the influencer and blogger panel for the Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills.
(Magnus Sundholm / HFPA)

The Stardust Ballroom at the Beverly Hilton, where a throng of lifestyle influencers and various media types, including the Merrell twins (whose Youtube channel has nearly 4 million subscribers), Alex Michael May and Stella Simona, sipped on bubbles courtesy of Moet & Chandon, and enjoyed a brunch-y lunch of comfort food favorites.

The honoree

Looking chic in an ice blue coat and cream trousers by the L.A.-designed Vince label, Elba channeled effortless style as she moved through the carpet-unrolling ceremony and upstairs to the ballroom for the luncheon in her honor. Fresh off a trip to Ghana over the holidays, Elba was fighting off a cold as the flurry of pending activities threatened to put a damper on her dream birthday weekend. (Today marks her 17th birthday.)

Asked if she had any favorite fashion brands that she follows, Elba was quick to namecheck Off-White, the highly coveted label by Virgil Abloh, who also designs Louis Vuitton's menswear collections. Our conversation turned to her everyday life in Atlanta and, although still on winter break, she said she’s not exactly looking forward to getting back into the school uniform. “My dad recently brought me a gorgeous Balenciaga outfit from one of his trips,” she told us. “So I’m ready to be fabulous from head to toe!”

HFPA president Meher Tatna, left, with 2019 Golden Globe ambassador Isan Elba at the Jan. 3 event at the Beverly Hilton.
(Magnus Sundholm / HFPA)

The Golden Globe ambassador (formerly Miss or Mr. Golden Globe) has long been a part of the awards presentation, with Laura Dern, Dakota Johnson, Freddie Prinze Jr. and Rumer Willis among the famous offspring of famous folks to previously hold the title. In the current climate of awareness and inclusivity, the HFPA has made great efforts to evolve with the times and now focuses on philanthropy as part of the role — in addition to the glitz and glamour of being the “official” award presenter.

The philanthropy

As part of her role, Elba chose to partner with the Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation, founded last year by Taraji P. Henson in honor of her late father, who suffered from mental illness. During Thursday’s luncheon, HFPA president Meher Tatna announced a $50,000 donation to that organization on Elba’s behalf.

The program

In addition to hosting the meet and greet with Elba, the HFPA presented a panel — moderated by Margaret Gardiner — that included Elba, influencer Jordyn Woods, comedian and writer Alicia Lutes, and Mindsail founders Elyse Colen and Lauren Wallack. Focusing on the mental health and self-acceptance challenges facing people of all ages, the panel was a deep dive straight into the expanded mission for the ever-evolving role of the Golden Globe ambassador.