32 of the best 90s style icons, from Julia Roberts to Kate Moss

From Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell to Aaliyah and Princess Diana, these stars made the 90s the most adventurous and stylish decade in fashion

Models Cindy Crawford and Naomi Campbell attend a private party, New York City, New York, 1992. (Photo by Rose Hartman/Getty Images)
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The 90s were a prime time for fashion; so much so that many of our current wardrobe staples (and the celebrities that inspired them) sought inspiration from trends of the era. Think Princess Diana’s oversized sweatshirt and cycling shorts combo or Julia Roberts’ power suits. 

The simultaneous popularisation of sitcoms, rock 'n' roll and hip-hop music, alongside the birth of the original supermodels, made these years the most fun and exciting time for personal style because the rules were abandoned. You could be dressed as an edgy rockstar one day, and a minimal, ‘quiet luxury’ supermodel the next and it would all fall into the trends of the moment. Why? Because that’s exactly what our favourite style icons did. 

While there are embarrassing 90s trends we all remember, most style moments from the decade, and the celebrities who brought them to life, have gone down in pop culture history as fashion pioneers. Here, we take a look back at the best 90s style icons and why they got it so right. 

32 of the best 90s style icons

Princess Diana

LONDON - NOVEMBER 1995: Princess Diana, Princess of Wales, wearing Virgin Atlantic sweatshirt, leaves Chelsea Harbour Club, London in November, 1995. (Photo by Anwar Hussein/WireImage)

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Princess Diana’s best fashion moments were just one of the many reasons she was adored in the 90s. Donning everything from glamorous royal gowns to her signature sweatshirts and cycling shorts combo, she became a global style icon who we still look to for inspiration today. 

Diana: The People's Princess by Nicholas Owen | £17.35 at Amazon  

Diana: The People's Princess by Nicholas Owen | £17.35 at Amazon  

This book documents the life and legacy of Princess Diana. Celebrating her achievements, this powerful tribute to the late Princess of Wales also features beautiful photographs and has been updated to include reference to the marriage of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

Tyra Banks

American supermodel Tyra Banks attends the premiere of movie "Panther" in Los Angeles, California, US, May 1995. (Photo by Vinnie Zuffante/Getty Images)

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Long before becoming a cultural icon on America’s Next Top Model, Tyra Banks was a style icon dominating runways across the 90s and her personal style was equally on par with the designs she was modelling, oozing effortless elegance and glamour. 

Spice Girls

The Spice Girls in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, September 1996. Fom left to right, Geri Halliwell, Melanie Brown, Victoria Adams, Emma Bunton and Melanie Chisholm. (Photo by Tim Roney/Getty Images)

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As the most iconic girl group in history, it’s no surprise that the Spice Girls dictated much of the fashion in the 90s. They served something for everyone: tracksuits and athleisure gems from Sporty Spice; daring prints and statement looks from Scary and Ginger Spice; girl-next-door vibes from Baby Spice; and classic 90s chic courtesy of Posh. 

Kate Moss

Kate Moss during Kate Moss Arriving From New York - December 16, 1994 at Los Angeles International Airport in Los Angeles, California, United States. (Photo by Jim Smeal/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)

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There’s no disputing that Kate Moss was the ultimate 90s it girl. Fashion as we know it wouldn’t be the same without her effortless chic meets edgy grunge style that influenced multiple generations. Even the simplest of looks, like a pair of jeans and a plain t-shirt, became instantly stylish on her. 

Naomi Cambpell

UNITED STATES - DECEMBER 04: Naomi Campbell at Costume Institute Gala at Met Museum. (Photo by Richard Corkery/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)

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When we think high fashion, we think Naomi Cambpell. The original supermodel cemented her icon status in the 90s with drool-worthy style both on and off the runway. If she wore it, we wanted it and not much has changed on that front over the years. 

Denise Huxtable (Lisa Bonet)

A DIFFERENT WORLD -- "If Only for One Night" Episode 20 -- Aired 4/28/88 -- Pictured: (l-r) Lisa Bonet as Denise Huxtable, Kadeem Hardison as Dwayne Cleophus Wayne -- Photo by: NBCU Photo Bank

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Many of our favourite looks came from fictional characters in the 90s, also known as the sitcom decade. Lisa Bonet’s on-screen alter ego Denise Huxtable from The Cosby Show never missed when it came to her looks, especially in the later episodes. Puffy sleeves, big blazers, tie-dye shirts and sexy LBDs were just a few highlights from her wardrobe. 

LL Cool J

LL Cool J (Photo by Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)

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The 90s introduced hip-hop culture to the world through not only music but fashion, and LL Cool J was the style icon of the genre. Oversized suit jackets, bucket hats and big gold chains were just a few of his unique signatures, alongside sports jerseys and bomber jackets; all with lots of colour, of course.

Brittany Murphy

Brittany Murphy (Photo by Jim Smeal/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)

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Brittany Murphy captured the hearts of awkward teenage girls everywhere with her role as Tai in Clueless, becoming a cultural icon with great style shortly after. On screen, her cute curls, wide smile and cardigan gave the girl next door, but on the red carpet, she was all about sexy self-expression with sheer black dresses, oversized suits and chain belts. 


378599 02: UPN''s popular half-hour comedy series "Moesha" stars the Grammy Award-winning singer/superstar actress Brandy as Moesha Mitchell, a vivacious teenage girl trying to figure out her place in life. "Moesha" airs Mondays from 8:00-8:30 p.m. ET/PT on UPN. (Photo by Matthew Rolston/UPN/Delivered by Online USA)

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Moesha was one of the best TV shows to come out of the 90s, and we credit much of that to Brandy and her outfits in her role as the titular teenager. Everything from her hair and make-up to her denim ensembles, cute tops and accessories were on our wishlist. And guess what? We’d still wear it all today. 

Hilary Banks (Karyn Parsons Rockwell)

THE FRESH PRINCE OF BEL-AIR -- "Hillary Gets a Job" Episode 4 -- Pictured: Karyn Parsons as Hilary Banks -- Photo by: Joseph Del Valle/NBCU Photo Bank

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We can’t talk about the 90s without mentioning The Fresh Prince of Bel Air and the show’s fashion queen Hilary Banks (played by actress Karyn Parsons Rockwell). Hilary’s style was a unique blend between late 80s trends, like red power suits and checked co-ords, and early 90s slip dresses and chokers, not to mention her signature hats.

Halle Berry

American actress Halle Berry, wearing a black vest top, attends the Westwood premiere of 'Executive Decision' held at the Mann Village Theatre in Los Angeles, California, 11th March 1996. (Photo by Vinnie Zuffante/Getty Images)

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Halle Berry’s style choices were both daring and sophisticated both on and off the red carpet throughout the 90s, cementing her status as a trendsetter who was never afraid to try something new!

Cindy Crawford

LOS ANGELES - FEBRUARY 22: Model Cindy Crawford arrives from New York City on February 22, 1991 at the Los Angeles International Airport in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)

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As one of the 'Big Six', Cindy Crawford set the standard for 90s fashion. Her iconic mole became a beauty signature, while her on-the-go aesthetic as a busy supermodel travelling the world was just as chic as her runway looks. 

Winona Ryder

American actress Winona Ryder at the 1996 Fire and Ice Ball at the Warner Brothers Studios in Hollywood, California, 1996. (Photo by Vinnie Zuffante/Getty Images)

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Winona Ryder perfectly captured the grunge aesthetic of the decade, influencing a generation with her edgy, alternative style and rebellious attitude. An icon!

Janet Jackson

Janet Jackson during The 35th Annual GRAMMY Awards at Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California, United States. (Photo by KMazur/WireImage)

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Janet Jackson’s bold fashion choices have gone down in history. From fiery red hair and nose rings to cool-girl accessories like micro-shades and berets, not to mention her music video fits in the likes of ‘Scream’ and ‘Rhythm Nation’ -  she was fashion. 

Gwyneth Paltrow

Gwyneth Paltrow (Photo by Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)

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Before her Goop days, Gwyneth Paltrow was a 90s Hollywood darling loved both on screen and off screen for her classic yet modern style. Sophisticated minimalism was her element, much of which would fit seamlessly into our wardrobes today too. 

Jennifer Aniston

Jennifer Aniston (Photo by Barry King/WireImage)

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It goes without saying that Jennifer Aniston’s portrayal of Rachel Green on Friends made her a fashion icon of the decade, having popularised casual chic looks - not to mention the infamous "Rachel" haircut. 

Lil Kim

Lil' Kim (Photo by Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)

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The original queen of hip-hop Lil Kim was known for her unique and flamboyant style in the 90s, with bold colours, extravagant accessories and always pushing boundaries, influencing hip-hop and fashion. 

Julia Roberts

CENTURY CITY, CA - DECEMBER 8: Actress Julia Roberts attends the "Hook" Century City Premiere on December 8, 1991 at Cineplex Odeon Century Plaza Cinemas in Century City, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)

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When we think 90s Julia Roberts, we think of big curly hair, effortless charm and all the romantic dramas. But we also think chic, timeless fashion - a quick glance at her red carpet looks over the decade shows just how consistently classic her style choices were and still are today.


American R&B singer and actress Aaliyah attends Urban Aid 4 (for) Lifebeat concert October 5, 1995 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York. (Photo By Larry Busacca/Getty Images)

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Aaliyah was the music industry’s 90s girl crush. Known for mixing tomboyish style with feminine allure, Aaliyah could do no wrong when it came to fashion. 


Members of R&B group TLC (L-R): Chilli (Rozonda Thomas), T-Boz (Tionne Watkins), Left Eye (Lisa Lopes) at the MTV Music Awards. (Photo by Arlene Richie/Getty Images)

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Don’t go chasing waterfalls, but do chase anything and everything TLC wore in the 90s. Known for their bold, unique looks, T-Boz, Left Eye and Chilli were all about vibrant colours and statements, making their looks unforgettable. 

Demi Moore

Demi Moore (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)

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Demi Moore and then-husband Bruce Willis were the fashion couple of the 90s, constantly serving elegant, polished looks on red carpets around the world. Demi in particular became synonymous with sophisticated glamour in the prime years of her acting career. 


MARCH 23: Singer/Actress Cher attends the 70th Annual Academy Awards on March 23, 1998 at Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)

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Cher has always been an it girl, and the 90s were no different. Playing around with sequins, bold prints and elaborate costumes both on and off stage, her legendary looks are still replicated by many today. 

Alicia Silverstone

Alicia Silverstone holding shopping bags in a scene from the film 'Clueless', 1995. (Photo by Paramount Pictures/Getty Images)

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As Cher Horowitz in Clueless, Alicia Silverstone popularized preppy, girly fashion with a modern twist, influencing the style of a generation of young women in the 90s and beyond.  All hail queen Alicia! 

Courtney Love

Courtney Love during 1998 MTV Video Music Awards at Universal Amphitheatre in Universal City, California, United States. (Photo by Ke.Mazur/WireImage)

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Satin dresses, leather layering and rock’n’roll spirit were at the core of Courtney Love’s 90s style as she spearheaded the alternative fashion movement with her boundary-breaking, rebellious looks. 

Drew Barrymore

American actress Drew Barrymore, wearing a white t-shirt beneath a black leather jacket, attends the Century City premiere of 'Longtime Companion', held at Cineplex Odeon Century Plaza Theatres in Century City, California, 14th May 1990. (Photo by Vinnie Zuffante/Getty Images)

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Drew Barrymore gave 70s bohemian chic a new lease of life in the 90s, with flowy dresses, floral prints and eclectic accessories, reflecting her carefree, artistic spirit and authentic style. 

Jennifer Lopez

Jennifer Lopez during "Anaconda" Los Angeles Premiere at Mann Village Theatre in Westwood, California, United States. (Photo by Albert L. Ortega/WireImage)

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Whether it was Jenny from the block or JLo on the red carpet, Jennifer Lopez was a 90s fashionista. She gave us everything from plunging necklines and high-slit gowns, to bandanas and cowboy hats, setting trends throughout the decade. 

Will Smith

THE FRESH PRINCE OF BEL-AIR -- "I Done: Part 1 & 2" Episode 23 & 24 -- Pictured: Will Smith as William "Will" Smith -- Photo by: Paul Drinkwater/NBCU Photo Bank

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One thing about Will Smith: he’s always going to look fresh. In the 90s, that meant styling vibrantly coloured oversized jackets, jeans, sportswear and accessories (like his famous yellow cap in Fresh Prince of Bel Air), setting the tone for the cool, laid-back vibe of hip hop fashion.

Christy Turlington

NEW YORK, NY - CIRCA 1992: Christy Turlington at the Michael Kors Spring 1993 show circa 1992 in New York City. (Photo by Raoul/IMAGES/Getty Images)

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Christy Turlington’s high cheekbones and unmistakable smile instantly take us back to the heights of 90s fashion. Along with the rest of the Supers, she became a style symbol, setting timeless trends even with the simplest of looks.

Keanu Reeves

Keanu Reeves during "Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey" Hollywood Premiere at Hollywood Palladium in Hollywood, California, United States. (Photo by Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)

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This is a reminder to bring back 90s menswear. A young Keanu Reeves was the heartthrob of his era, and his grunge, minimalist style paired with his well-tailored red carpet looks made him a fashion icon too. 

Linda Evangelista

NEW YORK, NY - CIRCA 1996: Linda Evangelista at the Ralph Lauren Spring 1997 show circa 1996 in New York City. (Photo by PL Gould/IMAGES/Getty Images)

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Linda Evangelista was a 90s supermodel with range. Constantly transforming into different high-fashion looks, there was nothing she couldn’t pull. What’s more iconic than that? 

Brad Pitt

American actor and film producer Brad Pitt on E. 60th Street, New York City, 1997. (Photo by Rose Hartman/Getty Images)

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As the hottest man in Hollywood, it’s only right that Brad Pitt gave us some of the most iconic looks of the 90s. Leather jackets, denim, casual button-down shirts, you name it - he made everything look 10x better. 

Nia Long

Nia Long during Premiere of "The Nutty Professor" - June 26, 1996 at Universal City in Universal City, California, United States. (Photo by Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)

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The name of the game is always chic sophistication when it comes to Nia Long in the 90s. The actress, renowned for her roles as Lisa in Fresh Prince of Bel Air and Nina in Love Jones, made the pixie cut and neutral make-up the hottest beauty trends while showing us how casual jeans and a cute top worked for both day and night looks.