But one acclaimed performance and an Academy Award win later, Lupita Nyong’o has been firmly catapulted into the A-list.
The 31-year-old actress rubbed shoulders with Rihanna at the Miu Miu Show at Paris Fashion Week on Wednesday, just days after scooping the Oscar’s Best Supporting Actress award for 12 Years A Slave.
New besties: Rihanna and Lupita Nyong’o pose together at the Miu Miu show at Paris Fashion Week on Tuesday
While the singer was her typically eclectic self in a giant leather and red and tan fur jacket, Lupita looked sophisticated in a long white coat, ruffled pink miniskirt and burgundy jacket with collar.
The Mexican-born star teamed her look with dangling earrings and white heels while Rihanna wore over-the-knee socks and ankle boots.
Different looks: The singer looked her usual eclectic self in a leather and fur coat in a multitude of colours while Lupita looked stylish in a white coat and skirt
Selfie time: Lupita posted a pictured of herself and the singer with the caption ‘#MiuMiu selfie with the sensational Rihanna
Rubbing shoulders with the stars: Lupita posted a snap of herself posing with French actresses Adèle Exarchopoulos, Léa Seydoux, Elizabeth Olsen and Margot Robbie at the MiuMiu show
The glamour set: Adele Exarchopoulos, Lea Seydoux, Margot Robbie, Rihanna, Lupita Nyong’o, Elizabeth Olsen, Bella Heathcote and Elle Fanning sat together at the show
It was a glamorous front row with the Blue Is The Warmest Colour actresses sitting next to Wolf Of Wall Street actress Robbie who sported a long red coat over a grey dress.
Bella Heathcote, another face of Miu Miu, also sat alongside Fanning wearing a black lacy dress and matching heels.
The ladies took selfies and laughed and chatted together before taking in the action.
Fashion faces: Lupita sat alongside Elizabeth Olsen on the front row of the catwalk show
In style: A model struts past the famous front row at the Miu Miu show
Specs appeal: Rihanna kept her sunglasses firmly on, while Lupita donned glasses to get a better look at the action
Faces of the brand: Lupita took selfies with Elizabeth while Bella and Elle looked on amused