A Brief History Of Starbucks As A Celebrity Accessory

Two days ago, longtime Starbucks fan Ariana Grande dropped her new single at Starbucks, the Cloud Macchiato. According to Starbucks’ website, the drink consists of “bold espresso cascading through light, fluffy layers of foam, topped with a drizzle of flavor.”


A drink quite literally made for cool teen girls hanging at the mall, the beverage, according to one PAPER writer, “tasted like any other novelty Starbucks drink: overpriced, sickly sweet, and inherently basic—but was perversely enjoyable for those same reasons.” Starby Starbs has had a long, beautiful history of being inherently basic and perversely enjoyable, and in light of pop-angel-cloud-emoji aka Ariana Grande’s new drink, here’s a brief history of Starbucks as a fun, chic accessory.


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Pamela Anderson Leaving Her Malibu Starbucks, 2002—All good things trace back to Pam.


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The Cheeky Girls, 2003—A Getty Images search of “celebrities Starbucks” unearthed a complete K-hole for me that I’m still trying to claw my way out of. But following Pam, among the first sorta-celebs to start sporting Starbucks as a fun accessory were Romanian recording artists The Cheeky Girls, known for their hit single “Cheeky Song (Touch My Bum)”. This took place at a party celebrating Starbucks’ new Doubleshot drink in London. 


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Britney Spears, Double Starbucks, 2003—For a brief period of time, Britney became known for having not one, but two Starbs on her at all times. From what looks to be two caramel frappuccinos to this paparazzi car shot to one warm beverage and one cold, the early-2000s was THE time to be a little too caffeinated.


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Mary-Kate Olsen and Her Venti Cup, 2004ish—To briefly resuscitate an old meme, there is no more iconic duo than Mary-Kate Olsen and a Starbucks cup. Her coffee addiction started young, she once told W Magazine, saying, “I remember at 10 sneaking my own coffee and pouring a ton of sugar in and going up to the playroom and drinking it.”


The same article noted that “before 10 p.m., she will drink two more Ventis and smoke several Marlboro Reds.” Her reported drinks of choice over the years range from a chai latte to a skim latte to a red-eye combo of coffee and espresso. 2005 was the year where both Mary-Kate and Ashley were documented with their Venti Starbs cups everywhere, taking it from a mere vessel of caffeine to an accessory to pair with your Balenciaga Le Dix bag.


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Grande tweets “You complete me” to Starbucks, 2013—We’re skipping ahead to 2013 here because there were likely countless photos from 2004-2013 of celebrities holding Starbucks cups. But in 2013, Grande and Starbs shared a moment when she tweeted, “You complete me @Starbucks” to which the coffee company responded, “@arianagrande you complete us! Congrats on your nomination for New Artist of The year 🙂 #AMAs


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Oprah Shares Her Chai Tea With Us, 2014—“Savory and spicy chai, with its deep flavor, has long been a favorite of mine,” she told company shareholders when the tea came out in April 2014. “When Howard Schultz offered to have me come into the Starbucks tasting room and create my very own tea blend, I thought that sounded like such a unique opportunity and fun to the tenth power.”

A Brief History of Starbucks as Fun Celebrity Accessory

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Lady Gaga Spends a Day as a Barista, 2017—As part of an initiative for her Born This Way Foundation, Lady Gaga collaborated with Starbucks on four Cups of Kindness beverages, including Matcha Lemonade, followed by vaguely named beverages Violet Drink, an Ombré Pink Drink, and simply Pink Drink. There was noticeably no “purple drink” because that means something else. 


She also spent the day working at a Los Angeles Starbucks with a green apron and a tag that read simply, “Gaga”.


On Cloud Nine With Ariana Grande, 2019—This brings us to today, with Grande’s Starbucks love affair clearly still going strong. Like Lady Gaga, she donned the green apron and took a series of photos with her dogs and the cloud drink, and also kindly suggested we #trythesoyversion.


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