7 of missy elliott's most iconic outfits
It goes without saying that she's 'Supa Dupa Fly.'
Missy Elliott poses for a portrait on December 14 2006 in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by Harry Langdon/Getty Images)
Missy Elliott has been captivating audiences ever since she burst onto the scene with her hit 1997 debut album, Supa Dupa Fly. As the first female rapper inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, Elliott has a long list of accolades to her name including 6 Grammys and 2 American Music Awards. But besides her revolutionary contributions to music, the hip hop legend has also been a major influence in the fashion world. Through high fashion red carpet looks to music video costumes reminiscent of the theater, Elliott has continuously been pushing the needle forward in fashion throughout the years.
In honor of her 48th birthday i-D takes a look at some of her most iconic style moments:
2001 MTV Music Video Awards
As a tribute to one of her close friends and fellow hit maker, Missy Elliott wore a white jacket with a bedazzled illustration of the late Aaliyah on it. Elliott, alongside childhood friend and longtime collaborator Timbaland, had worked with Aaliyah extensively throughout their careers and even wrote and produced nine tracks on the late singer’s 1996 album, One in a Million. In a 2010 interview with MTV, Elliott expressed how much she missed the rising star saying, “There's not a day that goes by that I don't think of Aaliyah”.
The name Missy Elliott can't be mentioned without eliciting images of tracksuits, as the two have practically become synonymous throughout the years. At the 2003 Grammys, the rapper was awarded Best Female Rap Solo Performance while wearing a bedazzled pastel pink Adidas tracksuit complete with matching Adidas sneakers. Just a few years later, Elliott collaborated with Adidas to create a line of her own, called Respect M.E. by Adidas Originals x Missy Elliott, which featured fashion-forward streetwear as well as, you guessed it, tracksuits.
Marc Jacobs fall/winter 16
In 2016, designer Marc Jacobs tapped Elliott to be in the campaign for his Autumn/Winter 2016 collection, one that featured dark lace, layered leather, and references to Beetlejuice. The star joined other big names, such as Courtney Love, Marilyn Manson, and Genesis P-Orridge, to help bring the collection to life. Before the campaign’s release, Jacobs took to Instagram to express his love for the music powerhouse, writing “From the moment I heard, The Rain, back in 1997, I was entranced by the genius rhythms and brilliant rhymes of Missy Elliott. Missy’s music has kept me and my design team happily energized through countless weekdays, weeknights and weekends during those long hours of sketching, fitting, styling and doing looks. In addition to the boundless energy of her music are the visually pulsating and wildly cartoon-like music videos she made in collaboration with the talented and visionary, Hype Williams. I am in continued awe of Missy’s ability to push the boundaries of the style of music both to the eye and to the ear.”
NYC Premiere of Shark Tale
For the 2004 premiere of the animated comedy film Shark Tale, Elliott wore an all-over Christian Dior look that was part of the fashion house’s 2004 Cruise Collection. Designed by John Galliano, the ensemble featured a hat, bag, jacket, and shoes all emblazoned with the luxury brand’s classic logo.
"The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)" Music Video
Missy Elliott proved she was years ahead of the recent slime green trend while wearing a green tracksuit in her video for “The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)” directed by Hype Williams. However, this outfit was not the only memorable one in this video — another part where Elliott is dressed in a literal blow-up plastic bag suit has proven that Elliott can make anything fashion. In a 2017 cover story interview with Elle, Elliott explained the sentiment behind the iconic costume choice saying, “To me, the outfit was a way to mask my shyness behind all the chaos of the look. Although I am shy, I was never afraid to be a provocative woman. The outfit was a symbol of power. I loved the idea of feeling like a hip-hop Michelin woman. I knew I could have on a blow-up suit and still have people talking. It was bold and different. I’ve always seen myself as an innovator and a creative unlike any other.”
"Beep Me 911" Video
The fur-trimmed orange suit, the gold lamé gown with exaggerated collar, the bright pink puffer vest — Elliott’s 1998 video for “Beep Me 911” is full of notable fashion moments. The video, which was directed by Earle Sebastian, featured Elliott as a Barbie doll in a Barbie house, and producer Timbaland along with rapper Magoo as Ken dolls. Elliott later expressed on Instagram that although at the time she received a bit of criticism on MTV for the music video, she realizes that she was just way ahead of the curve.
2018 Essence Festival in Gucci Dapper Dan
In 2018, Elliott took the stage in a Gucci outfit for the Essence Festival in Louisiana. The design was part of Gucci’s collaboration line with Dapper Dan, the famous Harlem designer and haberdasher who is said to have helped introduce high fashion into hip hop. Over the years, Dapper Dan’s clientele has included individuals such as Jay-Z, Salt-N-Pepa, Mike Tyson, Floyd Mayweather Jr., and many others in between. Once, his designs were an homage to designer labels — over time, however, high fashion has looked back at Dapper Dan's label mania for inspiration, leading to Gucci's collaboration with the designer after the Italian brand paid direct homage with a runway look.