Top 7 Fashion Icons of the 1980s

The Biggest Fashion Icons of the 1980s

The 80’s as an era was a fashion statement in itself - from extravagant hair styles, loud clothing all the way to the type of makeup you wore; everything was a flex. What made the era so unique is that it was genderless in the sense that all sexes were trying to flaunt their effusive look to the world.

The era itself paved the way for modern day vintage clothing as trends begin to point towards the loud colours and maverick style that has become so popular among teens and young adults in the 2000s and through to the 10s.

As an online thrift store UK, we’ve always felt it necessary at Urban Retro to offer the same type of feel to all the clothes we source and take inspiration from a number of the icons we are about to discuss. But who made the list?


1. George Michael

An undoubted icon in his own right, the Club Tropicana lead man could often be found flouting his outrageously coloured and often wildly printed vintage shirts that could turn any head. Not only was the man a pop icon, he was an inspiration to many, especially among the gay community as he gave them a voice to be heard, a look to behold and a legacy to be remembered.

2. Boy George

No one quite embodied the lavish 80s look quite like Boy George. The outrageous nonconformist embodied everything that made the decade such an iconic epoch. Boy George’s most iconic looks often came from the waist down with his constant flex of funky trousers and sumptuous hats that set the 80s icon apart from the rest.


3. Johnny Ramone

Punk icon, deranged lead man and 80s icon, Johnny Ramone personified the decade through both his music and fashion. The punk front man often wore low key vintage tshirts that would often put the main man to the forefront of every magazine and in turn created an aura about Johnny Ramone.


4. Madonna

Possibly the biggest female icon of the decade, the woman oozed sex appeal and it was evident in her clothing. The ‘Like A Prayer’ singer would often wear her underwear as outerwear on stage and encouraged young girls to experiment with their style and look throughout the decade.

5. Cyndi Lauper

No one earned the title of the 80s wild child quite like Cyndi Lauper with her rebellious hair, subversive hair style and her ripped clothes; the girl really did just wanna have fun. Her platform boots and ravished skirts paved the way for female rebellion throughout the decade as has since passed this on to the generation of today.

6. Björn Borg

The five time Wimbledon winner wasn’t just known for his immense tennis skills but also his baggy vintage jumpers that he’d sport on the court. Bjorn is the one of the only sportsmen that have made it on this list which speaks volumes for the impact he alone made on 80s fashion.


7. Princess Diana

Some may be surprised to see the princess at the bottom of this blog but that by no means reflects her impact. Often found in relaxed jumpers and sport shorts, Princess Diana fits are so iconic that the look has transposed onto the likes of Kim Kardashian and other modern day fashion icons.


Urban Retro: Our Thoughts

With all these icons to take inspiration, take a dip into our site and pick out some vintage 80s heat for your wardrobe. For other inspiration, check out our Biggest 90s Iconsdiscussion where we outline some of the biggest fashion idols.