The Kentucky Derby isn’t just a famous horse race, it’s also a nonstop fashion show.
Since its inception in 1875, the annual event has become synonymous with bold dresses, pastel seersuckers, and a sea of over-the-top headwear. The Real Housewives of Atlanta’s Sanya Richards-Ross got a first-hand look at this year’s ensembles when she served as a fashion/lifestyle reporter alongside NBC News’ Dylan Dreyer. And, of course, she completely nailed the derby aesthetic.
The four-time Olympic gold medalist kicked off the weekend in a light pink midcalf dress with a square neckline, capped sleeves, and an all-over floral pattern. Sanya rounded out the charming look with a pair of metallic strappy heels and a gorgeous matching headpiece by Derby Dianas, a millinery shop located in Louisville, Kentucky.
“Today at the [Kentucky Derby] we wear pink,” she captioned an Instagram of the Day 1 outfit, “and as always, rock incredible fascinators.”
It was clear Sanya wasn’t the only one who got the pink memo. The spring-ready color completely dominated the weekend, as it appeared in sundresses, hats, and even men’s suiting. Sanya and Drew noted that pink has been a longtime staple in Kentucky Derby fashion, but was taken to a whole new level in 2023.
“We expected pink, but what we didn’t expect was so much hot pink,” Sanya said during a style report segment. “It’s been a really beautiful trend to see all the women rocking their hot pink … We’re so used to men traditionally being in black suits, blue suits, but not today. Men get a chance to express themselves in pink suits, and I live for it.”
Sanya returned on Day 2 with more stunning looks. One was a below-the-knee floral dress with a structured fan neckline and cascading ruffle details. She accessorized the outfit with a gold watch and dainty earrings, as well as an extravagant Derby Dianas fascinator that matched the red and blue garment.
Photo: On Her Turf/Instagram
Her second ’fit of the day was a longer marigold dress with a pink floral design, capped sleeves, a plunging V-neck, and a dramatic leg slit. The piece was completed with gold heels and a yellow Derby Dianas headpiece.
“What’s better [than] one look… TWO!” Sanya wrote on Instagram. “The [Kentucky Derby] delivered again. If you’ve never been, you’ve got to add it to your bucket list.”
Each look was put together by Ryan Christopher, an Atlanta-based stylist who has worked with celebrities like Mo’Nique, Ts Madison, Da Brat, and RHOA’s Kandi Burruss.
Sanya reflected on her derby experience in a May 7 Instagram story just hours before the RHOA Season 15 premiere.
“I’m officially signing off from the Kentucky Derby today, headed out. I had such a good time!” she said. “If you’ve never been to the derby, I’m telling you, you’re missing out. It’s so much fun! … Oh, and happy premiere day!”