20 Years Later, Missy Elliott Explains The Meaning Behind Her Plastic Bag Suit

Missy Elliott covers the June 2017 Issue of ELLE
Mark Seliger 

Missy Elliott covers the June 2017 Issue of ELLE 

Missy Elliott is back at it again, and this time it's as the face of Elle magazine's June 2017 issue. The 45-year-old rapper, known for her quick wit and slick rhymes, graced the summer cover in none other than Marc Jacobs' hip-hop inspired Fall/Winter 2017 collection, donning a chunky wool hat milled by Stephen Jones, graphic heavy-weight track jacket and earrings by Jennifer Fisher

In the issue, which is dedicated to celebrating Women in Music, Elliott explains the meaning and thought process behind her now-infamous plastic bag suit that was featured in 1997's "The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)" music video.

"To me, the outfit was a way to mask my shyness behind all the chaos of the look. Although I am shy, I was never afraid to be a provocative woman. The outfit was a symbol of power," Elliott told the magazine. "I loved the idea of feeling like a hip-hop Michelin woman. I knew I could have on a blow-up suit and still have people talking. It was bold and different. I’ve always seen myself as an innovator and a creative unlike any other."

Jacobs has always seen Elliott as a unique visionary as well. For his Fall 2016 ad campaign photographed by David Sims, Jacobs cast the rapper in a puffer coat reminiciscent of Elliott's plastic bag suit, with an array of sharp, powerful feathers attached to her back, titled "MISSY Supa Dupa Fly."

"From the moment I heard, The Rain, back in 1997, I was entranced by the genius rhythms and brilliant rhymes of Missy Elliott. 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 wrote on Instagram. "In addition to the boundless energy of her music are the visually pulsating and wildly cartoon-like music videos she made in collaboration with the talented and visionary, Hype Williams. 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 and I'm happy to share this portrait by David Sims for our Fall '16 campaign." 

Elliott's Elle cover issue is on newsstands now.


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