From her hightop fade to draping hoods to her love for exaggerated shoulder pads, Grace Jones has and will always be our Black fashion icon and the walking embodiment of the word “camp.”
Whether on a runway, a magazine cover, or the Afropunk mainstage, the androgynous statuesque stunna knows how to make a statement with her edgy style and authenticity. Born in Spanish Town, Jamaica in 1948, the model, singer and actress has never been one to buckle under the pressure to conform, she has always been her own woman: a woman who put herself, and loved herself first.
“One boyfriend told me that I loved myself too much. I thought, Well, you can love a boyfriend too much, but you can’t love yourself too much. Sometimes you have to love yourself to keep yourself whole,” she wrote in her 2015 memoir, I’ll Never Write My Memoirs.
Fashion was a part of her self-love:
Serving a lewk is literally her middle name:
Come through hood!
We cannot forget to point out how much she loves her sunglasses:
Now, whether she likes it or not, which she does not, she has inspired generations of celebrity fashion but has always been clear, she isn’t being them, they are being her.
“Trends come along and people say ‘Follow that trend’”, she wrote in her memoir. “There’s a lot of that around at the moment: ‘Be like Sasha Fierce. Be like Miley Cyrus. Be like Rihanna. Be like Lady Gaga. Be like Rita Ora and Sia. Be like Madonna.’ I cannot be like them – except to the extent that they are already being like me.”
Well, to celebrate her 72nd birthday this week (May 19), here are 9 Black women who have paid homage to Grace Jones with their style, but always remembered who did it first.
1. Leslie JonesSource:Getty
Ms. Jones could easily pass as Ms. Jones in this Christian Siriano ensemble. Imitation is really the best form of flattery.
2. Nicki MinajSource:Getty
Back in the day, Nicki’s fashion was super outrageous and we loved it! This right here would have made Grace proud, even if she won’t admit it.
From her videos to the stage to real-life, so much of IDGAF attitude and look is a tribute to the foundation that Grace laid for her.
4. Billy PorterSource:Getty
This hat alone, screams Grace…and like her, Billy doesn’t just play with gender, but he blurs and straddles the lines for days…and we love it!
5. Janelle MonáeSource:Getty
At the 2020 Academy Awards, Janelle dazzled in a silver hooded ensemble by Ralph Lauren that was part Joan of Arc, part Grace Jones.
6. Solange KnowlesSource:WENN
So much of Solange’s personal style, including this cut out black ensemble is giving us all the GJ vibes.
7. Laverne CoxSource:WENN
Laverne owned the heck out of this Hakan Akkaya gown, showing off all of her curves, just like Grace has and continues to do now.
8. Kiki LayneSource:Getty
Grace’s lewk was also AfroFuturistic, just like this gown Kiki Layne wore to the Spirit Awards. You better come through boxy shoulders!
9. Danai GuriraSource:Getty
Danai is putting the “a” in androgynous, with a feminine twist, and giving the girls all the camp she can in this sexy suit and top hot.