Lil’ Kim’s Most Iconic Outfits, In Honor Of Her New Album

Lil’ Kim is a lot of things—Hard Core, for starters, a platinum-selling Queen of Rap, a noted enjoyer of anal sex (shout out to this 1997 bell hooks interview), and, of course, a fashion icon who pioneered trends from pasties to neon-hued furs. And best of all, she’s back. After 14 years, Lil’ Kim will be releasing an album titled 9, set to be released May 17. It will be her fifth album and was originally expected to debut last year when she released a single “Nasty One”.

Now, a video for her new song “Go Awff” has been dropped with signature Lil’ Kim decadence—leather bustiers, pearls, furs, private jet bearing her name, and the lyrics “Galliano, vintage Gautier / I had more Balmain than Olivier / Over 365 pair / I can attend fashion week for a whole year.”


The crazy thing is, truly any of the outfits Lil’ Kim wore in the ’90s would not look out of place even remotely on a stage or red carpet today. With a uniquely prescient knack for style, here are all the trends she kicked off.

A Brief History of Legendary Bathrobe Moments in Hip Hop 1

Lil’ Kim, Hard Core album insert

Leopard-Print Everything


With an album cover and accompanying inset poster that featured Kim in Danielle-Steele-romance-novel-meets-Players editorial, the leopard-print marabou-trim coat and matching lingerie is true romance.

Lil' Kim's Most Iconic Outfits, In Honor of Her New Album

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Logo Prints


For Interview’s November 1999 issue, photographer David LaChapelle shot a legendary image of Lil’ Kim naked, covered in Louis Vuitton logos. It earned them a cease-and-desist from the fashion house, which just made the image even cooler. A lover of the double-F, the interlocked-C and the overlapped LV, the rapper even had monogram logo prints imposed on candy-colored wigs.

Lil' Kim's Most Iconic Outfits, In Honor of Her New Album 1

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Fishnet Bodysuits


With the resurgence of Dolls Kill-flavored, EDM-girl looks over the last few years, dance floor-hued fishnets have been seen in the form of dresses and bodysuits. During her 1997 No Way Out tour, Lil’ Kim wore an electric green Chanel bikini over a black fishnet bodysuit, accompanied with a neon fur. Beyoncé recreated the outfit for her 2017 Halloween costume.

Lil' Kim's Most Iconic Outfits, In Honor of Her New Album 2

Lil Kim from 1996’s “Crush on

Brightly Colored Furs


And speaking of that outfit, the cropped, shaggy fur jacket was twenty years ahead of its time with DayGlo colors being seen on faux furs of all shapes and sizes. 

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1999 was a big year for Lil’ Kim, with guest appearances on successful tracks like “Notorious B.I.G.” with Biggie Smalls and Puff Daddy and Mobb Deep’s “Quiet Storm (Remix)”. (Also, she played one of the popular kids in She’s All That, a fun, forgotten detail.)


That year, she attended Tommy Hilfiger’s “Rock Style” exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art wearing an outfit I could absolutely see Rihanna in today. Wearing a hot-pink fur coat and knee-high python boots, it was a look people are still emulating. In 2017, Kim K wore a similar pink bikini with thigh-high Louboutin snakeskin boots.

Lil' Kim's Most Iconic Outfits, In Honor of Her New Album 4

Image via Getty



In what is perhaps my favorite Lil’ Kim ensemble, the 1999 MTV Music Video Awards had her wearing a Misa Hylton-Brim pantsuit—an incandescent, under-the-sea dream of an outfit with one nipple covered by a clamshell pastie. In the years since, pasties have become increasingly accepted red-carpet wear, with Nicki Minaj seen in 2017 wearing a single Agent Provocateur pasty and even Cher wearing heart-shaped pasties at a performance in Las Vegas.

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