Duran Duran’s Iconic Style & Fashion Through the Decades

Duran Duran’s Iconic Style & Fashion Through the Decades
Members of the pop group Duran Duran, who took Milan by storm last night, are shown Dec. 11, 1988, as 1,000 screaming fans greeted them before they played. From left to right: Nick Rhodes, Simon Le Bon and John Taylor. (AP Photo/Press Association/Rebecca Naden)

The spectacle of ‘80s pop was made all the more striking by the outrageously awesome fashion statements of the musicians who brought it to life, and British synthpop superstars Duran Duran were at the vanguard of the decade’s most iconic styles. It’s been more than three decades since the band first shook up the new wave scene with their timeless tunes and bold stagewear, androgynous makeup, and flashy accessories, and they’re still setting the pace for style in pop music today. Today Duran Duran is as sharp as ever with a streamlined modern look, and they just announced a massive 2016 North American Tour in support of their latest album Paper Gods, where they’ll be joined by Chic feat. Nile Rogers.

To help you gear up for the Paper Gods Tour, we’ve rounded up some of Duran Duran’s most iconic fashion statements through the decades. Check out the epic looks below, and don’t miss the band as they bring their inimitable style to the stage on tour.

1980s: From Clubs to Stadiums to TV Screens

After establishing themselves in the UK club scene in the late ‘70s Duran Duran released their self-titled debut album in 1981, becoming global superstars overnight thanks to hit singles like “Planet Earth” and “Girls on Film”. Complementing their fresh sound was their outré visual image, replete with makeup, teased hair, and coordinated stage wear that included leather pants, military-inspired jackets, and colorful scarves. Their wardrobe at the time read like a who’s who of groundbreaking ‘80s designers – the band wore everyone from British luminaries like Galliano, Alexander McQueen, and Antony Price to Japanese trailblazers like Yohji Yamamoto, Issey Miyake, and Comme des Garcons.

Fans around the world discovered their envelope-pushing style and edgy sound thanks to the growing popularity of the music video – Duran Duran’s video for “Girls on Film” was created just weeks after MTV launched in the US, and they were one of the first bands to enter heavy rotation on the newly minted station. By the mid-‘80s they were selling out stadiums on international tours and topping the charts with albums like Rio and arena-sized anthems like “Hungry Like the Wolf”. As if their reach wasn’t already big enough, their edgy image was broadcast to 1.5 billion fans around the world when they performed at the legendary fundraising concert Live Aid in 1985.

Members of the pop group Duran Duran, who took Milan by storm last night, are shown Dec. 11, 1988, as 1,000 screaming fans greeted them before they played. From left to right: Nick Rhodes, Simon Le Bon and John Taylor. (AP Photo/Press Association/Rebecca Naden)
Members of the pop group Duran Duran, who took Milan by storm last night, are shown here on Dec. 11, 1988, as 1,000 screaming fans greeted them before they played. From left to right: Nick Rhodes, Simon Le Bon and John Taylor. (AP Photo/Press Association/Rebecca Naden)
Duran Duran in 1984. New York, New York. (Photo by David Handschuh / Associated Press)
Duran Duran in 1984. New York, New York. (Photo by David Handschuh / Associated Press)
Britain's Princess Diana shakes hands with Nick Rhodes, the keyboard player in her favorite band, British pop group Duran Duran, at a music gala concert in aid of the Prince of Wales Trust Fund in London, England, July 20, 1983. (AP Photo/Bob Dear)
Britain’s Princess Diana shakes hands with Nick Rhodes, the keyboard player in her favorite band, British pop group Duran Duran, at a music gala concert in aid of the Prince of Wales Trust Fund in London, England, July 20, 1983. (AP Photo/Bob Dear)

1990s: The Changing Music Scene

By the ‘90s the popularity of synthpop was waning and alternative rock was on the rise, and Duran Duran adapted accordingly, updating their sound and returning to the Top 10 in both the US and UK with their 1993 album Duran Duran (The Wedding Album). Hit singles like “Ordinary World” and “Come Undone” showcased the band’s new alt rock-influenced bent, and the songs’ music videos revealed a new visual image that traded in bold makeup and flashy duds for classically tailored suit jackets and crisp white shirts.

Members of the band Duran Duran arrive for their opening night performance at New York's Fashion Cafe, April 7, 1995. From left: John Taylor, Roger Taylor, Simon Le Bon, and Nick Rhodes. (AP Photo/Adam Nadel)
Members of the band Duran Duran arrive for their opening night performance at New York’s Fashion Cafe, April 7, 1995. From left: John Taylor, Warren Cuccurullo, Simon Le Bon, and Nick Rhodes. (AP Photo/Adam Nadel)

2000s: Lifetime Achievements

Along with the new millennium came a number of milestones for the band. In 2003 they performed a handful of sold-out 25th anniversary shows, and later that year they received a Lifetime Achievement Award from MTV. The following year their 11th studio album Astronaut once again landed them at the top of the charts, leading to a sold-out tour of the US, Australia, and New Zealand.

Other benchmark moments during the decade included performances at London’s massive Wembley Stadium, a set at the Louvre in Paris, and a nationally broadcast tailgate show at Super Bowl XXXVIII. While streetwear had become popular during the ‘00s among pop’s new pack of rising performers, the band once again forged their own path, opting to take the stage at their shows in dapper suits that underscored their veteran status.

Simon Le Bon of British pop group Duran Duran performs on stage during the Concert for Diana at Wembley Stadium in London, Sunday July 1, 2007. The concert was held on Sunday to mark what would have been the 46th birthday of Diana Princess of Wales. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
Simon Le Bon of British pop group Duran Duran performs on stage during the Concert for Diana at Wembley Stadium in London, Sunday July 1, 2007. The concert was held on Sunday to mark what would have been the 46th birthday of Diana Princess of Wales. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
Simon Le Bon, left, and Nick Rhodes of the Duran Duran perform on the stage of Live 8 concert in Rome's Circus Maximus, Saturday, July 2, 2005. Thousands gathered in Rome's ancient Circus Maximus Saturday to watch Faith Hill, Duran Duran and a long list of Italian stars, in one of 10 concerts across the globe to help raise awareness about African poverty.(AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
Simon Le Bon, left, and Nick Rhodes of the Duran Duran perform on the stage of Live 8 concert in Rome’s Circus Maximus, Saturday, July 2, 2005. Thousands gathered in Rome’s ancient Circus Maximus Saturday to watch Faith Hill, Duran Duran and a long list of Italian stars, in one of 10 concerts across the globe to help raise awareness about African poverty. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
British group Duran Duran arrive to the MTV Europe Music Awards in Rome, Thursday, Nov. 18, 2004. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
British group Duran Duran arrive to the MTV Europe Music Awards in Rome, Thursday, Nov. 18, 2004. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

2010s: Global Domination

Duran Duran kept their fingers firmly on the pulse as the new decade got underway – in December 2010 they released their 13th studio album All You Need Is Now, which was produced by Grammy-winning “it” producer Mark Ronson. The album topped the download charts in 15 countries, drawing the band out for another huge tour. Their tireless commitment to fashion was honored the following year when style epicenter Milan, Italy recognized the band with a Style Icons of the 20th Century Award and keys to the city.

Another huge honor came in 2012 when the band was asked to perform at the opening ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Lead singer Simon Le Bon took the Olympic stage in a slick leather jacket featuring a patchwork rendition of the British flag, a subtle nod to the band’s ‘80s heyday. Since then they’ve continued to pay homage to the ‘80s, reprising their bold leather jackets and sharply contrasting black and white ensembles.

The band’s reign continued unabated in 2015 with the release of their 14th studio album Paper Gods, a Top 10 hit in both the US and the UK that features collaborations with young stars like Janelle Monae, Lindsay Lohan, and Kiesza. The Paper Gods Tour kicks off in 2016 with support from disco legends Chic feat. Nile Rogers and promises ticket buyers an unforgettable night of epic music, party-worthy vibes, and timeless style.

Duran Duran - Nick Rhodes, John Taylor, Roger Taylor, Simon Le Bon Duran Duran in concert at Leeds Arena, Britain - 28 Nov 2015 (Rex Features via AP Images)
Duran Duran in concert at Leeds Arena in Britain on November 28, 2015. (Rex Features via AP Images)
Duran Duran - Simon Le Bon Duran Duran in concert at the AVA Amphitheater Tucson, Arizona, America - 12 Aug 2012 (Rex Features via AP Images)
Simon Le Bon – Duran Duran in concert at the AVA Amphitheater Tucson in Arizona on August 12, 2012. (Rex Features via AP Images)
Duran Duran perform at the Opening Ceremony Celebration Concert in Hyde Park, London, Friday, July 27, 2012. The concert is part of a series of events being organised by the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, to celebrate the London 2012 Olympic Games. (AP Photo/James McCauley)
Duran Duran perform at the London 2012 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony Celebration Concert in Hyde Park, London on Friday, July 27, 2012. (AP Photo/James McCauley)
Duran Duran and DJ Steve Aoki join forces for the first time to debut their remix "Hungry Like The Wolf - NY Werewolf Mix" at Trident's "See What Unfolds Live" event in New York, Wednesday, June 20, 2012. (Photo by Diane Bondareff/Invision for Trident)
Duran Duran and Steve Aoki join forces for the first time to debut their remix “Hungry Like The Wolf – NY Werewolf Mix” at Trident’s “See What Unfolds Live” event in New York on Wednesday June 20, 2012. (Photo by Diane Bondareff/Invision for Trident)
Duran Duran in concert at the Borgata Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey, America - 29 Oct 2011 (Photo by: Rex Features (1483468b) Duran Duran - Simon Le Bon and Mark Ronson Duran Duran in concert at the Borgata Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey, America - 29 Oct 2011 (Rex Features via AP Images)
Mark Ronson and Duran Duran’s Simon Le Bon in concert at the Borgata Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey on October 29, 2011. (Photo by: Rex Features, 1483468b, AP Images)
Simon LeBon, right, and John Taylor, of Duran Duran, perform at the SXSW Music Festival in Austin, Texas early Thursday, March 17, 2011. (AP Photo/Jack Plunkett)
Simon LeBon, right, and John Taylor, of Duran Duran, perform at the SXSW Music Festival in Austin, Texas on Thursday, March 17, 2011. (AP Photo/Jack Plunkett)

Updated to reflect a photo caption change from Roger Taylor to Warren Cuccurullo.