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All Hail Missy Elliott! The Fashion Legacy of Marc Jacobs’s Latest Muse

All Hail Missy Elliott! The Fashion Legacy of Marc Jacobs’s Latest Muse

Are Missy Elliott and Marc Jacobs a match made in fashion heaven?

The superstar hip-hop producer has been revealed as the designer's latest muse, appearing in feathers and gothic finery straight from the Fall 2016 runway in a David Sims–lensed image from the brand. Celebrities appearing in ads is nothing new — this season alone, everyone from A$AP Rocky to Eddie Redmayne is fronting a luxury house — but Jacobs' choices of famous faces have mostly been based on his personal preferences, rather than who is receiving the most buzz. Taking to Instagram to share the first shots of Elliott, he stressed the impact her music had on his creative process.

"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," Jacobs said. "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. It was a dream of mine to work with her."

What sets Elliot apart from her contemporaries — aside from her multitude of hits — is an exuberant personal style. In a world where female artists are often encouraged to fit into a box, Elliot has — since she arrived on the scene in the mid-90s — simply been herself. Whether in colorful tracksuits from Adidas, vibrant custom suits, or logo-embellished trenches, Elliott is unmistakable, and her sporty, upbeat looks have proved iconic on the red carpet and in her music videos. Hype Williams’s trippy shots of Elliott in spiked shades and inflated trash bags in the music video for "The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)" are among the most referenced shots in video history — even Sims' stylized campaign shot subtly nods to its legacy.

Killer personal style and wild videos aside, Elliott fits right in with Jacobs’s previous choices for his ads. For the past three seasons, Jacobs, stylist Katie Grand and casting director Anita Bitton have enlisted the likes of Cher, Bette Midler, and Sandra Bernhard to front Jacobs’s campaigns. This season finds that illustrious crew joined by Elliott, Sissy Spacek, and the occultist performance artist Genesis P-Orridge. The ads serve to celebrate not just surface appeal, or page views, or a specific brand of industry-approved beauty, but to highlight these individuals whose creativity and force of personality have allowed them to contribute to culture and create lasting legacies. Looking back through Elliott's greatest wardrobe hits provides a window into one part of the industry’s interest in her oeuvre, but it's her talent that truly keeps fashion captivated. And that's a great thing to see on a billboard.

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• See Katy Perry's Hairstyle at the 2016 Golden Globes

• From Lil' Kim to Missy Elliott, the '90s Hip-Hop Stars Whose Style Still Inspires

Photo Credit: Marc Jacobs / @themarcjacobs