Missy Elliott’s Style Evolution: Blinged-Out Tracksuits & Lots of Adidas

Over a music career spanning more than two decades, Missy Elliott has developed a reputation not only for her rap skills, but also for her fearless sartorial choices.

Her unconventional approach to style has been on display since her debut solo music video in 1997, “The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly),” for which she dressed in an inflated trash bag. And it’s because of that risk-taking spirit that she’ll be honored with the Video Vanguard Award at the MTV Video Music Awards on Aug. 26.

From the start, Elliott’s style has been rooted in streetwear — with bedazzled tracksuits and high-top trainers making up the majority of her early aughts wardrobe.

Missy ElliottMTV AWARDS AT RADIO CITY MUSIC HALL, NEW YORK, AMERICA - 29 AUG 2002Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliot arriving to a post-party celebarting the 2002 MTV Video Music Awards at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City on August 29, 2002 2002. (The even was hosted by Maverick Records and Sean "P. Diddy" Combs and was billed as "The Greatest Party of All Time").Manhattan, New YorkPhoto® Matt Baron/BEImages.net
Missy Elliott wears a pink and yellow tracksuit with white sneakers at an post-MTV VMAs party in 2002.
CREDIT: Matt Baron/Shutterstock

It was a natural fit, then, when she inked an Adidas deal in 2004, complete with her own fashion collection under the Adidas Classics banner. Apparel and footwear from the German sportswear label was a staple throughout much of Elliott’s career.

Missy Elliott, BET TELEVISION NETWORK FALL 2004 UPFRONT PRESENTATION, MANHATTAN CENTRE, NEW YORK, AMERICA - 13 APR 2004
Missy Elliott wearing an Adidas sweatsuit with white Superstar sneakers at the BET upfronts in New York on April 13, 2004.
CREDIT: Matt Baron/Shutterstock

Recently, Elliott has worked in the fashion space with Marc Jacobs, appearing in the designer’s fall ’16 video campaign. (Jacobs is receiving MTV’s Fashion Trailblazer Award).

After losing weight last year — she said she cut out bread and skipped drinks other than water — the singer has unveiled her latest styling change. Her latest onstage looks feature slim-fitting leather pants and oversize hoop earrings — but she’s not giving up her high-tops.

Missy Elliott 2016 Grammy Awards
Missy Elliott performs at a Grammys after-party in 2016 clad in jewel-embellished Nike sneakers.
CREDIT: Shutterstock

Flip through the gallery to see more of Missy Elliott’s style evolution.

In the video below, get a behind-the-scenes look at Meek Mill’s FN cover shoot.

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