“I don’t want to commercialize. I don’t want to tone down my act for anybody.” – Grace Jones
Okay, we’ll admit we’re still not over AfroPunk Fest, especially not the epic performance by headliner Grace Jones. Not too familiar with Ms. Jones? Well, something might be seriously wrong with you. But here’s a brief history lesson.
Born in Spanish Town, Jamaica, Grace Jones started her career as a model in Paris alongside the likes of Jerry Hall and Jessica Lange, her androgynous look and dark skin captivating designers like Yves Saint Laurent, Claude Montana, and Kenzo Takada, as well as photographers like Helmut Newton, Guy Bourdin, and Hans Feurer. Jones kept her fashion credentials throughout her music career, which was noted by singles like “My Jamaican Guy,” “Pull Up to the Bumper,” “Slave to the Rhythm,” and many, many more. Her sound has been a mélange of elements from disco to reggae, dominating the 1980s with a one-of-a-kind appeal that was ahead of her time, and her personal style went along perfectly. Known for gender-bending fashion with an eccentric twist, commonly showing skin and always raising eyebrows, the artist paved the way for some of today’s biggest stars like Lady Gaga and Rihanna, just to name a couple.
We know her musical skills and captivating persona are what have made her one of the most exciting artists in history, but it’s her allure and presence that’s made her such an indubitable icon. Grace Jones has been – and continues to be – a muse to many, including image makers such as Issey Miyake, Azzedine Alaïa, and Jean-Paul Goude. She is a constant reference and inspiration for Des Phosphènes’ own original editorials, her cutting edge style and effervescent, out-of-this-world aura constantly giving us life. And getting to see her perform live for the first time at AfroPunk Fest was like a spiritual awakening of sorts, reminding us why she’s such a treasure.
And there’s a lot to get excited about! After performing a new song, “Shennanigans” at the Brooklyn festival, we could possibly be hearing more new music from the 67-years-young Ms. Jones very soon. Meanwhile, her memoir, I’ll Never Write My Memoirs, is due to be released September 29, 2015.
In honor of the legend that is Grace Jones, check out this gallery of some of her most iconic looks below!