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Diana Ross’ Iconic Fashion Moments Through the Years, From The Supremes to Her Saint Laurent Campaign

Diana Ross is more than a musical legend: she’s a style icon. The singer and actress, who turns 80 on March 26, got her start as the frontwoman of the Supremes before embarking on a successful solo career in the 1970s.

Ross’ legacy spans multiple mediums, from chart-topping albums to Oscar-nominated films. Through it all, she’s never failed to make a style statement, flaunting sequined dresses, beaded catsuits and glamorous gowns — many of them by Bob Mackie.

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Ahead, a timeline of Ross’ best fashion moments.

“The Hollywood Palace,” 1967

UNSPECIFIED - JANUARY 01:  Photo of Diana ROSS and Mary WILSON and SUPREMES and Cindy BIRDSONG; Posed studio portrait L-R Mary Wilson, Diana Ross and Cindy Birdsong  (Photo by RB/Redferns)
Mary Wilson, Diana Ross and Cindy Birdsong of the Supremes in 1967.

The Supremes were known for their coordinating looks, with silver sequined Gene Shelly gowns being a notable highlight. Featuring bell sleeves and blue crystal embellishments, each dress was hand-beaded in Hong Kong. Ross, Mary Wilson and Cindy Birdsong wore these sparkling sheaths for an appearance on the variety show “The Hollywood Palace” in 1967.

“G.I.T. on Broadway,” 1969

G.I.T. ON BROADWAY --  Aired 11/12/1969 -- Pictured: Diana Ross of The Supremes -- Photo by: Frank Carroll/NBCU Photo Bank
Diana Ross in “G.I.T. on Broadway” in 1969.

Two months before Ross officially launched her solo career, she appeared on a television special alongside The Temptations. NBC’s “G.I.T. on Broadway” featured medleys of show tunes, as well as a series of elaborate costumes designed by Mackie. Ross would continue collaborating with the designer, who won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Achievement in Costume Design for the 1969 special.

G.I.T. ON BROADWAY --  Aired 11/12/1969 -- Pictured: Diana Ross of The Supremes -- Photo by: Frank Carroll/NBCU Photo Bank
Diana Ross in “G.I.T. on Broadway” in 1969.

“Everything is Everything,” 1970

UNSPECIFIED - JANUARY 01:  (AUSTRALIA OUT) Photo of Diana ROSS; posed, studio  (Photo by GAB Archive/Redferns)
Diana Ross in 1970.

Ross wore a rhinestone-encrusted fishnet catsuit designed by Mackie for the cover of her second solo album, “Everything is Everything.”

The Rock Music Awards, 1975

Actress/Singer Cher, Singer/Songwriter/Musician Elton John and Actress/Singer Diana Ross pose on the red carpet during the Rock Awards at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, Santa Monica, CA 1975. (Photo by Mark Sullivan/Getty Images)
Cher, Elton John and Diana Ross at the Rock Music Awards in 1975.

Ross cohosted the first annual Rock Music Awards alongside Elton John in 1975. The award show’s run would ultimately be short-lived, lasting only through 1978, but Ross and John’s bedazzled Mackie looks would go down in history. Ross’ gown featured a babydoll waistline accentuated with yellow plumes and a silver chevron-patterned skirt adorned with beads.

“Mahogany,” 1975

Diana Ross in "Mahogany."
Diana Ross in “Mahogany.”

Ross added costume designer to her resume with the release of Berry Gordy’s directorial debut, “Mahogany.” The singer and actress dreamed up 50 of her own costumes in the film, in which she plays Tracy Chambers, a fashion student who becomes a world-renowned supermodel and designer. Ross could certainly relate to the character: “I always wanted to be a fashion designer and I learned costume illustration in high school,” she told Interview in 1981.

Some of Ross’ costumes in “Mahogany,” like this purple one-shoulder dress with a matching fur muff and turban, were fabricated by Mackie.

Diana Ross in "Mahogany."
Diana Ross in “Mahogany.”

“An Evening with Diana Ross,” 1977

THE BIG EVENT -- "An Evening With Diana Ross" -- Air Date 03/06/1977 -- Pictured: Diana Ross -- Photo by: Fred Sabine/NBCU Photo Bank
Diana Ross in “An Evening With Diana Ross.”

In 1976, Ross starred in her own one-woman show titled “An Evening With Diana Ross.” After it appeared on Broadway, NBC picked it up for television in 1977. Mackie received an Emmy nomination for his work on Ross’ costumes in the special, including this dramatically-proportioned sequined dress lined with feathers.

Diana Ross Fashion Moments From the Archives: WWD Style File Photos

Diana Ross attends a welcome dinner at the Fairmont Hotel in Denver, Colorado, on October 8, 1983.
Diana Ross attends a welcome dinner at the Fairmont Hotel in Denver, Colorado, on October 8, 1983.
Actress and singer Diana Ross wearing an all metallic outfit with striped top, skirt, leggings and headscarf waving at someone off-camera in Miami, Florida
Actress and singer Diana Ross wearing an all metallic outfit with striped top, skirt, leggings and headscarf waving at someone off-camera in Miami, Florida
Actress and singer Diana Ross, wearing a squined dress, performing on stage in Miami, Florida, 1971.
Actress and singer Diana Ross, wearing a squined dress, performing on stage in Miami, Florida, 1971.

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Mackie also crafted a white beaded gown and cape for Ross, which she re-wore for a shoot with photographer Michael Ochs. His iconic 1977 photograph of the singer appears on the cover of her 2011 compilation album, “The Greatest.”

“An Evening With Diana Ross” received four Emmy nominations, while Ross was given an honorary Tony Award for her Broadway show.

THE BIG EVENT -- "An Evening With Diana Ross" -- Air Date 03/06/1977 -- Pictured: Diana Ross -- Photo by: Fred Sabine/NBCU Photo Bank
Diana Ross in “An Evening With Diana Ross.”

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, 1979

UNITED STATES - NOVEMBER 22:  Singer Diana Ross greets holiday crowd at the 53d annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade from atop The Daily News' Big Apple float down Broadway with its floats and hoopla and enough giant helium balloons to set a yougster's heart thumping. Balmy weather with the temperature up into the 60s produced a larger turnout than usual, with youngsters of all ages lining the parade route, 25 deep in some places. So many eager parade watches filled the sidewsalks and overflowed into the street that a few of the wider floats had difficulty getting by.  (Photo by Harry Hamburg/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
Diana Ross performs at the 1979 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

At the 53rd annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, Ross performed her 1979 hit, “The Boss,” atop the New York Daily News’ Big Apple float. The singer sported a green mink jacket by Yves Saint Laurent and skin-tight emerald trousers, both emblematic of major ’70s trends.

Studio 54, 1979

NEW YORK, NY - 1979:  Diana Ross dancing at Studio 54, 1979,  in New York City.  (Photo by Sonia Moskowitz/Getty Images)
Diana Ross dancing at Studio 54 in 1979.

Like many celebrities at the time, Ross was known to frequent Studio 54. In 1979, celebrity photographer Sonia Moskowitz snapped several photos of Ross dancing at the fabled disco club, where she wore a cropped graphic tank with slim high-waisted jeans, a typical ’70s cut popularized by brands such as Jordache, Calvin Klein and Gloria Vanderbilt.

Thierry Mugler Spring 1991, 1990

Diana Ross défile pour la collection Thierry Mugler, Prêt-à-Porter, collection printemps-été 91 à Paris en octobre 1990 (Photo by ARNAL/GARCIA/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
Diana Ross and Thierry Mugler during his spring 1991 show.

When Thierry Mugler approached Ross to appear in his spring 1991 show, she did so on one condition — that her daughter, Tracee Ellis Ross, then 18 years old and an aspiring model, walk in the show with her. Strutting alongside supers like Linda Evangelista, Christy Turlington and Naomi Campbell, the mother-daughter duo made their runway debut in 1990.

Diana donned two looks on the catwalk: the first was a sequined tank top paired with vinyl pants and matching gloves, and to close the show, Ross sported a sheer catsuit adorned with beaded fringe and a structured neon train.

Singer Diana Ross models ready-to-wear women's fashions at a 1990 spring-summer fashion show for French fashion house Thierry Mugler in Paris. She wears a sheer tank top, vinyl gloves, and headband, all in black. (Photo by julio donoso/Sygma via Getty Images)
Diana Ross walks in Thierry Mugler’s spring 1991 show.

Super Bowl XXX, 1996

TEMPE, AZ - JANUARY 28: Diana Ross preforms during haft time of Super Bowl XXX between the Dallas Cowboys and Pittsburgh Steelers on January 28, 1996 at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona. The Cowboys won the Super Bowl 27-17. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)
Diana Ross performs at the 1996 Super Bowl.

Ross’ performance at the 1996 Super Bowl halftime show was one of the first to include multiple costume changes. Dressed in a sparkling red minidress, she began with a medley of songs by the Supremes before changing into a strapless orange gown to perform a series of her solo hits.

Ross’ finale look featured a larger-than-life lamé cape worn over an embellished purple jumpsuit. For her closing number, “Take Me Higher,” Ross departed Tempe, Arizona’s Sun Devil Stadium in a helicopter.

TEMPE, AZ - JANUARY 28: Diana Ross preforms during haft time of Super Bowl XXX between the Dallas Cowboys and Pittsburgh Steelers on January 28, 1996 at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona. The Cowboys won the Super Bowl 27-17. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)
Diana Ross performs at the 1996 Super Bowl.

The Met Gala, 2003

NEW YORK - APRIL 28:  (US TABS AND HOLLYWOOD REPORTER OUT) Singer Diana Ross arrives at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Benefit Gala sponsored by Gucci April 28, 2003 at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. (Photo by Evan Agos
Diana Ross arrives at the 2003 Met Gala.

Ross and Saint Laurent go way back — not only was she friendly with the designer before his death in 2008, but she’s frequently sported Saint Laurent duds throughout her career. In 2003, the label’s then creative director, Tom Ford, dedicated his fall collection to Ross. Models with voluminous curls and disco-worthy eye makeup walked the runway to “Baby Love” and “Touch Me in the Morning.”

It’s only appropriate, then, that Ford would design a custom satin halter dress inspired by the collection for Ross to wear at the 2003 Met Gala, putting a ’70s spin on the ball’s “goddess” theme.

A model at the Fall 2003 Yves Saint Laurent show in Paris. (Photo by Giovanni Giannoni/WWD/Penske Media via Getty Images)
Yves Saint Laurent’s fall 2003 show.

Saint Laurent Campaign, 2024

Diana Ross for Saint Laurent.
Diana Ross for Saint Laurent.

Ross officially became a Saint Laurent spokesmodel in January, appearing in the brand’s spring 2024 campaign. Creative director Anthony Vaccarello tapped Ross, Lauren Hutton and Michael Stipe of R.E.M. to pose for photographer David Sims. Ross’ look included a long-sleeved halter dress and a faux fur coat.

Launch Gallery: Diana Ross Fashion Moments From the Archives: WWD Style File Photos

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