Madonna had a lot of autonomy over her edgy and hip look in the 80s. However, her style didn’t just appear fully formed out of nowhere. As with any great pop star, she had some help behind the scenes. Maripol was the designer and stylist responsible for Madonna’s signature look, which is still iconic and famous to this day.
Maripol was the one behind Madonna’s lace tops, fingerless gloves, fishnets, and controversial crucifix jewelry. Madonna embodied this style and made it her own, sparking fashion inspiration among women and girls of the 80s. So, next time you dress up as Madonna for Halloween, thank Maripol.
“To Rule the World”
Madonna’s debut album came out in 1983, and her career immediately took off. Her fame was cemented with her performance on Dick Clark’s “American Bandstand” on January 14, 1984. Madonna performed her iconic hit “Holiday” in an all-black, totally 80s ensemble of leggings, a fishnet top, and perfectly teased hair.
Madonna wasn’t going to let this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity pass her by. She knew she had to make a big impression with Dick Clark and the hundreds of thousands of people watching at home. In her post-performance interview, Madonna was on fire, replying to Dick Clark’s questions with confidence. When he asked, “What are your dreams? What’s left?” Madonna simply replied, “To rule the world.”
A Fashion Icon
How many of us have dressed up as Madonna for Halloween? Her look from the 80s was truly iconic, and her signature off-the-shoulder tops and leggings have become synonymous with the era. It’s not just a nostalgia thing. Madonna was a fashion icon to teenagers across the country when she rose to fame in the 80s.
No one else was dressing in quite the same way, and Madonna quickly became known for her unique and bold style. In a rare 1984 interview with MTV, the interviewer asked Madonna if she was the one behind her signature look. You can practically see Madonna roll her eyes at the inane question. “You think someone else could come up with this?” she replied. Touché.
A Famous Pairing
Madonna has had many romantic relationships during the course of her life, but none are as infamous and mysterious as her relationship with artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. There’s very little public information out there, but the two dated briefly in 1982. Although their relationship was short-lived, they remained close, and several photos of them together still exist.
Basquiat tragically passed away in 1988, and Madonna has never revealed a whole lot about her relationship with the famous artist. We do know that the two used to go to art openings together, and Basquiat believed in Madonna’s musical talent. However, Basquiat’s substance use eventually drove them apart, and he took back all of the paintings he gave her after they broke up.
A Kahlo Collector
One of Madonna’s personal heroes is Mexican painter Frida Kahlo. When she first moved to New York, Madonna would often draw inspiration from Friday Kahlo for strength to keep pursuing her dreams. Now, as a successful and wealthy musician, Madonna can appreciate Frida’s artwork in a new way. She’s a big collector of the artist’s paintings. She even owns “My Birth” (1932), which was painted by Frida Kahlo when she lived in Detroit for a short time.
Madonna caused a bit of a controversy in 2015 when she and her team refused to lend “My Birth” to the Detroit Institute of Arts. The established museum organized a show featuring works by Frida Kahlo and her husband, Diego Rivera. However, after trying to procure a loan from Madonna for over a year, the museum was unable to convince her to lend it out.