Nina Simone had the kind of personal style I aspire to have one day. It’s bold, it’s brazen and she undeniably followed her own intuition over conforming to any one trend of the moment. Her deftness in styling jewelry and prints upon prints is, in a word, fearless.
And the fact that she once layered individual crystals over each eyebrow and eyelid, paired with a white Grecian dress proves that she has always been ahead of the time long before Lady Gaga came along. Her netted white jumpsuit, worn to a concert was also a daring move. After all, this is the woman who once declared, “I’m a real rebel with a cause.”
Simone’s work as a jazz singer and civil rights activist also influenced her wardrobe. She often wore slinky maxi-dresses and bold prints (think: a caftan with a coordinating accessory in the same print) made for the stage.
But if there’s any one hallmark that can be taken from her wardrobe and repurposed right now to feel more current than ever, it’s her love of head accessories. Patterned wraps, headbands worn over the center of her forehead and simple bands worn over her hair never felt fresher. In fact, they recall Gucci’s spring 2016 hair accessories.
In honor of what would have been Simone’s 83rd birthday, click through to see 10 looks that defined her style.