Ten Years Later, Missy Elliott Still Knows Her Plastic Bag Suit Was Fly As Hell

Photo: Mark Seliger/Elle.
Beep! Beep! Who's got the keys to the jeep? We all know who those iconic lyrics belong to: the one and only hip-hop legend, the untouchable Missy Elliott. The rap star covers Elle's June issue, clad in Marc Jacobs. In the issue, Elliott talks music, social media, and, of course, her legendary sense of style. The singer has turned look after look over the span of her decades-long career, and finally — 10 years later — she shares the powerful meaning behind one of her most unforgettable looks, ever.
Elliott covers the glossy's "Women In Music"-themed issue in a tracksuit and hat from Jacobs' hip-hop-inspired collection. Though the designer has been accused of (and defended) appropriating African American culture in the past, his vintage-y sportswear-filled fall 2017 collection was a hit with fashion's toughest critics. And, unsurprisingly, Elliott positively slays it in Jacobs' latest looks (we only wish we could see more of the clothes on that cover). Missy and Marc's relationship goes pretty deep: The rapper starred in Jacobs' fall 2016 ad campaign (along with the likes of Courtney Love, Sissy Spacek, and Marilyn Manson). And, as he noted in his love letter of a caption about why he decided to cast Elliott, her music is often on the soundtrack at MJ HQ: "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...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," Jacobs wrote.
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Inside the issue, the rapper explains the thought process behind her beloved plastic bag suit in "The Rain [Supa Dupa Fly]" video from 1997. It turns out, that outfit carried a meaning that went much deeper than just an unexpected, shock value-filled getup. "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 Elle. "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."
And there you have it. After all these years, it's refreshing to hear Elliott get so candid about her style. And what better why to do so than clad in Jacobs' garb, which is essentially an homage to the rapper's craft? Clearly, Elliott still has people talking, and we give her props for using her personal style to encapsulate who she is on the inside (...whether or not that involves an outfit constructed from plastic). We can't think of too many other artists who so perfectly illustrate the connection between hip-hop and fashion. Or, at least, not the way Missy Misdemeanor does it.