Cher turns 75: Zendaya to Dua Lipa, celebrity red carpet looks inspired by Cher

By, Hindustan Times, Delhi
May 20, 2021 08:37 PM IST

Happy Birthday Cher: The Goddess of Pop, Cher, turns 75 today, and of the many laurels associated with the Oscar winner, being a fashion icon is right at the top. From Kim Kardashian to Emily Ratajkowski, here's a look some of the septuagenarian's looks that inspired millennial and Gen-Z celebs...

Think Goddess of Pop and Cher's will be the first name that comes to mind. The 75-year-old Academy Award winner, singer, actor, television personality and fashion icon made her debut into the world of glamour in the 60s, and the Dancing Queen singer never looked back. Born as Cherilyn Sarkisian, the stunning septuagenarian is turning 75 today (May 20), and is a testament to ageing - if Cher's vigour, energy and timeless beauty can be considered proof of ageing at all - gracefully.

Cher and Zendaya(Instagram)
Cher and Zendaya(Instagram)

From the get go, Cher was a trailblazer, and she once famously said about her often wearing out-of-the-box designs and outfits, "I was way ahead of my time." Cher always showcased oodles of confidence and her famous self-deprecating humour in her appearances and performances, and the multi-talented star had no qualms in telling it like it is. Skinny, tall and with dark long hair brushing her hips, Cher had a look that was very unique in the 60s and 70s when blonde bombshells were all the rage, but the Oscar winner managed to create a whole new space for herself, pushing the boundaries of beauty standards long before self love and acceptance became keywords for conversations.

Cher proved that women too could be as successful, if not more, than men in a male dominated industry, and till date she continues to be the only female artist to have a Billboard number-one single (from the 1960s to the 2010s) for six decades straight. Other than her powerful personality, hilarious quips and thunderous voice, Cher is also known for pulling off some of the most stunning and scandalous ensembles.

Most of Cher’s red carpet looks were the creations of designer and her longtime friend Bob Mackie with whom the singer began collaborating with in the 70s. Bob's creations for Cher often showcased her washboard abs and flawless physique, often giving the illusion that she was nude. However in an interview with Vogue, Bob Mackie clarified, “Not everything I made for Cher was provocative. She never looked vulgar in anything because she had such an incredible body and she carried it well—she wore it like she was wearing a T-shirt and jeans.”

Celebrities in the Instagram era are often seen wearing similar styles, trends and outfits, to which Mackie said, “You just keep seeing the same thing over and over again and there are no surprises. Unfortunately, you don’t see much fashion anymore.” And his statement stands true, Cher had a style sense like no other, and her influence on fashion continues to inspire designers, outfits and celebrities including the likes of Kim Kardashian, Zendaya, Dua Lipa, Emily Ratajkowski and Jennifer Lopez.

Kim Kardashian

Kim Kardashian is easily one of the celebrities who takes inspiration from Cher most often. While Kim has dressed like the singer on more than one occasion, the Keeping Up With The Kardashians star's 2015 MET Gala look was inspired by Cher's look for the same event in 1974.

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West at the 2015 MET Gala(Instagram)
Kim Kardashian and Kanye West at the 2015 MET Gala(Instagram)

Kim's feathered Roberto Cavalli dress took inspiration from an identical look seen on Cher and the SKIMS founder couldn't help but tell the Heart of Stone singer about it. Kim even shared a photo of Cher in the original ensemble and wrote, "Tonight's inspiration! Cher at the 1st ever Met Gala! I just met her and told her this photo was my inspiration for my dress tonight! She is so beautiful! So happy I met her!"

To Vogue, Bob Mackie said, “Cher just thought it was funny. She didn’t really say one thing or the other when Kim came running up to her to tell her.”

Kendall and Kylie Jenner

Following in her footsteps, Kim's younger step sisters Kendall and Kylie Jenner also seemed to take inspiration from the naked dress. The sisters collaborated with Versace for the 2019 MET Gala and wore similar feathered dresses in shades of orange and purple.

Kendall and Kylie Jenner(Instagram)
Kendall and Kylie Jenner(Instagram)

Designer Bob Mackie, who created Cher's white and beaded version of the feathered naked dress told Vogue, “It created a lot of hubbub. In those days, Time reserved its covers for world leaders or someone who invented something important, like a vaccine. Then there was Cher on the cover in that incredible piece of clothing, and newsstands sold out of it almost immediately. Some cities even banned it from being sold—it’s funny considering how some stars can barely keep their clothes on today.”


Cher won an Academy Award for Best Actress for Moonstruck in 1988, but interestingly the stunning Amazonian beauty hasn't walked the Oscar's red carpet since 2000. And although Cher may be missing from the red carpet, it appears that her outfits continue to inspire the looks of those who still do. One such actor was Zendaya, who walked the Oscars 2021 red carpet in a bright, canary yellow gown with a cut out waist by Valentino.

From the outfit's silhouette and colour, to her long permed mermaid-like hairdo, Zendaya looked like she went to the Halloween store and picked out a 'Cher in the 70s' costume. Law Roach, who styled Zendaya's look, even shared an image of Cher wearing the Bob Mackie piece that he took inspiration from and wrote, "Constant inspiration."

Dua Lipa

Another Gen-Z icon who took inspiration from Cher was Dua Lipa, who wore a Versace gown to the 2021 Grammys red carpet, which was inspired by Cher’s Grammys look from 1974.

Cher wore a white bandeau top with a matching maxi skirt, embellished with blue-and-pink crystal butterfly pins, and another such pin adorned her hair.

Taking inspo from Cher, Dua's look also featured crystals and a huge butterfly right on the front of her gown.

Emily Ratajkowski

The 2019 MET Gala had Cher performing on stage as many celebrities walked the red carpet wearing looks inspired by the iconic singer. One such celebrity was supermodel Emily Ratajkowski whose dress was inspired by not one, but two of Cher's looks and the resulting outcome was dazzling. The theme of the Gala that year was Camp: Notes on Fashion and that made it evident why Cher was performing and also an inspiration for most looks.

Emily Ratajkowski wore a risqué, under boob and torso revealing silver Dundas dress that resembled a look seen on the singer as she posed alongside legend Elton John in the 70s.

Cher and Elton John(Instagram)
Cher and Elton John(Instagram)

Emily also wore a headpiece that was identical to one seen on Cher to complete her red carpet look.

Jennifer Lopez

Jennifer Lopez's MET Gala look in 2019 was also inspired by Cher. JLo took inspiration from Cher's look for the cover of The Prisoner album by Casablanca Records, Los Angeles, June 1979.


    'Ask no questions, hear no lies.' Alfea Jamal is a fashion, culture, travel and food writer. She also dabbles in video journalism, multimedia production, the culinary arts, design and is modestly decent with canvas.

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