Fashion

Model Behaviour: Fashion Campaigns Fronted By Pop Stars

From Lady Gaga for Versace and Rihanna for Balmain, to Britney Spears at Kenzo and Ariana Grande at Givenchy, we’ve rounded up some of the most iconic musician-led fashion campaigns
Reading time 7 minutes

If there was ever a sure-fire way of ensuring that your collection is a smash-hit, it would be to get your famous friends involved, and all the better if they’re a billboard-topping artist. With legions of fans and some serious street cred, the presence of pop stars is pretty much guaranteed to get column inches and double-taps, not to mention worldwide exposure. Whether it’s in the front row at fashion week, like Blackpink’s Lisa at Celine, or on a collaboration, like Nicki Minaj and Fendi, star power is a potent formula for popularity. And don’t forget the celebrity fashion campaign, which gained traction in the nineties when Madonna posed for Versace. That said, we’ve taken a trip down memory lane and rounded up some of the most iconic music-meets-fashion moments.

 

Christina Aguilera for Versace (2003)

Donatella Versace once described herself as someone who only stops listening to music when she sleeps, so it only made sense that she enlisted the help of pop princess Christina Aguilera, or rather the artist’s alter-ego Xtina, for Versace’s Fall/Winter 2003 collection. “I watch the videos of Christina and I always die,” said Donatella, citing the singer as an inspiration for the designs. With her then-bang on trend nose and lip piercings, Xtina showed off her best pout in a variety of skin-tight mini dresses, lensed by renowned photographer Steven Meisel.

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Miley Cyrus for Marc Jacobs (2014)

There was nary a wagging tongue or jiggling booty to be seen in Marc Jacobs’ Spring/Summer 2014 campaign. Miley Cyrus exchanged her usually risqué style for Jacobs’ darkly romantic pieces and swapped twerking for brooding, seen thinking pensively amidst sand dunes in the images shot by David Sims.

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Rihanna for Balmain (2014)

It wasn’t too big of a surprise when the news came out about Rihanna’s role in Balmain’s Spring/Summer 2014 campaign. Designer Olivier Rousteing has made no secret of how much he loves the pop star, calling her “the icon of [his] generation”. Exuding bad-ass sultriness from under a mop of mussed hair, Rihanna perfectly embodied the unabashed glamour and sensuality synonymous with the French fashion house.

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Lady Gaga for Versace (2014)

The ‘Mother Monster’ made us all do a double take when she appeared as the face of Versace Spring/Summer 2014. Sporting poker-straight, platinum-blonde tresses, and a pastel lilac bandage dress, Lady Gaga looked unnervingly like Donatella Versace.

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Rihanna for Dior (2015)

Rihanna made history in 2015 when she became the first black woman ever to front a Dior campaign. Shot by Steven Klein as part of Raf Simons’ Secret Garden, RiRi was seen roaming around the palace and gardens of Versailles, looking every inch a queen.

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Madonna for Versace (2015)

Donatella Versace showed off her love for music once again when she picked Madonna as the star of her Spring/Summer 2015 collection. The pop icon werked it hard, flaunting her incredibly toned physique in the series of black-and-white images. This was actually the fourth time over the span of of two decades that Madonna had lent her famous face to Versace.

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CL for Alexander Wang (2016)

K-pop singer and rapper CL induced major squad envy when she appeared as part of Alexander Wang’s #wangsquad in 2016, alongside fellow artists Travis Scott and Alice Glass. Since bursting onto the scene as ¼ of 2NE1, the South Korean force of nature has been a constant fixture in fashion, often seen in the frow. Her stint as Alexander Wang’s muse only cemented her status as a style sensation.

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Britney Spears for Kenzo (2018)

La Collection Memento No. 2 by Kenzo carried the theme of ‘icons’, so who better to team up with than Britney Spears? The pop princess gave it to us one more time in street-chic pieces from the denim-focused collection, including bright floral separates and a vintage-inspired green sweater. But perhaps the greatest moment was when Kenzo recreated the singer’s iconic all-denim outfit from 2001, outfitting Spears in a revealing ensemble of denim cap, jacket, underwear, and laced knee-high boots.

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Rita Ora for Escada (2019)

Rita Ora is no stranger to grabbing attention with her flamboyant sense of style, and she certainly commanded her fair share posing for German label Escada. The brand announced the singer as its latest ambassador in January of this year, and followed up with a vibrant Spring/Summer 2019 campaign. Ora gives off a strong Eighties vibe with the vibrant looks, including sharp-shouldered suits and a rainbow-hued monogram trenchcoat. She also launched the Heart bag in collaboration with Escada, the profits of which are donated to Women for Women, the charity that helps females in conflict areas like her birthplace of Kosovo.

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Billie Eilish for MCM (2019)

Billie Eilish may only be 17, but her list of accomplishments would put most adults to shame. Now, the breakthrough music star can count ‘fashion model’ among her many achievements, thanks to a turn as the face of MCM Fall/Winter 2019. Photographer Lea Colombo, herself a millennial talent, captures Eilish in multiple states of motion within a single frame, reflecting the singer’s many facets. Eilish stays true to her love for oversized silhouettes in pieces ranging from baggy tracksuits and branded sweaters to leather bucket hats and clunky sneakers.

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Ariana Grande for Givenchy (2019)

Ariana Grande is having a pretty good year. Her latest album, Thank U Next, shot to the number one spot on the charts when it was released in February, she’s currently on a sold-out world tour, and she’s also star of Givenchy’s Fall/Winter 2019 collection. Creative director Clare Waight Keller called her “a modern embodiment of its signature spirit: an elegant attitude informed by beauty, individuality, and a sense of empowerment”. The #Arivenchy campaign shows Grande in key looks from the collection, including Givenchy’s new Eden bag, all topped off with her trademark high-set ponytail.

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Nicki Minaj for Fendi (2019)

“Bentley tints on / Fendi prints on” rapped Nicki Minaj in her song Chun Li, foreshadowing her recent collaboration with the Italian house. Dubbed (you guessed it!) Fendi Prints On, the capsule collection features statement clothing inspired by her bold and extroverted style – think futuristic metallics, elevated sportswear, and plenty of lycra, all awash in Fendi’s iconic double F logo. Minaj gives her fiercest look in the campaign images, clad in her signature eye-watering shade of barbie pink.

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