MTV VJ Style: From Martha to Alexa, 9 Ladies Who Rocked the Mic

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It seems everyone's fascination with MTV goes into a natural decline as we grow out of our teens, but it seemed like the influx of filler programs like "My Super Sweet 16" and "Next" was the last nail in the coffin—that is, until the network made the smart move to take on fast-talking fashion darling Alexa Chung as their newest host. In the midst of our constant fawning over Alexa's witty quips, covetable closet, and too-cool-it-hurts persona, we thought it was high time to reminisce about all those other inspiring lady VJs who paved the way. Whether it's the inimitable Downtown Julie Brown or the too-quirky Kennedy, here are those other mic-wielding women who've personified the coolest girls of their eras from the tip of the sharp tongues to the bottoms of their vintage boots.

1981: Martha Quinn, The Girl Next Door

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Crowned the "Best-Ever MTV VJ" by music bible Rolling Stone, Martha held court with the greatest '80s rockers, David Lee Roth included. Her two-toned hair and sweet-sexy floral frocks seem to make her the style-predecessor or a certain Ms. Chung.

Image from MTV; Image from Chris Carroll.


1981: Nina Blackwood, The Wild Child

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With her trademark tresses and rock roots, Nina captured the spirit of the '80s as one of the original five MTV VJs.

Image from 7Together; Image from NYDaily News.


1988: Julie Brown, The Downtown Diva

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The original British transplant to MTV, Julie Brown's exuberance shone through in her ballsy interviews and over-the-top fashion. The girl could rock anything the '80s spit out (we're talking BIG hats!), and for that, she deserves the highest of sartorial snaps.

Image from MTV; Image from Late Night With Jimmy Fallon.


1989: Cindy Crawford, The SuperHost

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Never without that trademark mole and leather jacket, Cindy Crawford may have had some rocky onscreen moments, but she managed to work it out and navigate MTV's historic House of Style throughout its first—and possibly finest—six years.

Image from That Fire & Ice; Image from WWD.


Early '90s: Karen Duffy, The Beauty Queen

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In-between her MTV gig, her Revlon spokesmodel position, and a small part in Dumb and Dumber, Duff, as she was called, worked it out in the sexiest Alaia-inspired fashions of the '90s.

Image from NYDaily News; Image from People.


1992: Lisa Kennedy (aka Kennedy), The Geekette

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On "Alternative Nation," Lisa rocked geezer glasses way before they were cool and aired videos by everyone from Nirvana to New Order. Her wild curls, nerd-attire, and distinct interviewing style made geek-chic a bona-fide look.

Image from NYDaily News; Image from MSNBC.


Late '90s: Ananda Lewis, The Soul Sister

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There with us from the beginning of Britney and the dawn of boy bands, Ananda helped usher in a whole new era with her smooth street finesse and down-to-earth charm.

Image from People; Image from Drum Scape.


2001: SuChin Pak, The OG Emo Dork

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The first Asian face of MTV, SuChin represented the first (non-pejorative) wave of emo with her Rivers Cuomo specs, striped hair, and punk duds.

Image from Watching MTV; Image from Planet Green.


2008: Kim Stolz, The Pixie-Cut Politico

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Proving that beauty and brains aren't mutually exclusive, Kim shrugged off the legacy of America's Next Top Model and became a VJ and correspondent for the 2008 Iowa Caucus.

Image from MTV; Image from Village Voice.