Prince: 40 Years of Photographs, 1977-2016
In addition to being one of the most awe-inspiring musicians of his generation, Prince was also one of the most stylish. We’ve compiled the above gallery of one picture of him from every year between 1977 and 2016.
As with David Bowie, who was similarly profiled here, his fashion sense was a true extension of his music and persona. In Prince’s case it was flashy, provocative, often androgynous and always over-the-top. And no matter how hard you tried, you couldn’t pull it off on your own (especially not the cover of Lovesexy or the assless pants from the 1991 MTV Video Music Awards).
While he’ll forever be defined by the Jheri-curls-purple-studded-jacket-and-frilly-shirt from the Purple Rain era, Prince changed up his image regularly during his lifetime in the spotlight — seemingly as frequently as he put out a new album. After he turned into a global star, it became almost impossible to find a picture of him wearing the same outfit twice.
You’ll see everything from gender-bending lace and makeup to brightly colored suits to African-inspired designs, with lots of high-waist pants and long jackets, presumably to make him appear taller than his reported 5’3″ frame. You’ll also find various hairstyles, from closely cropped and expertly sculpted to the giant Afro he sported in his last few years.
In addition to pictures from 1977-2016, we’ve included a couple of pictures from his days at Central High School in Minneapolis. Click above to begin.