Rihanna’s been a mainstay at the VMAs, attending almost every show since 2005. With that many appearances over the course of her continuous style evolution, it’s only obvious that she’s given us some great and memorable looks. Whether she’s rocking a belly chain or just showing up in jeans, Rihanna never ceases to make a strong sartorial statement at the VMAs. Check out all her looks below!
Rihanna’s first time at the VMAs was way, way back in 2005 when the show had a Diddy moment by going to Miami and laying down a white carpet. Rihanna was an actual baby at the age of 17 and wore a belly chain and cropped sequin vest. We had no idea what she was going to bless us with in the years to come. We were so naïve. Forgive us, Rihanna.
Riri was alllll over the VMAs in 2006. She started off the award show weekend by performing at the kickoff concert wearing a belt so 2006 that middle school me is currently somewhere in the universe weeping.
She then hit up the gifting suit because, like all of us, Rihanna loves a good swag bag. She wore a short-sleeved black turtleneck and paired it with a brown purse because Rihanna doesn’t follow trends, she makes them.
Then it was time for the red carpet, where she wore a mini A-line silk dress with sequin embellishments. She looked like a literal princess. Probably because she is.
She then graced the stage alongside Ne-Yo to present the award for Ringtone of the Year. Yes.Ringtone of the Year.
The shift from 2006 to 2007 Rihanna is jarring and incredible. She chopped off her hair, dyed it black, and cut it into the asymmetrical bob that went on to be the hairstyle of 2007-2008. She donned a hot pink mermaid gown, situating herself as the style icon she is today.
Rihanna ended up taking home not one, but two Moonmen that year for Monster Single of the Year and Video of the Year for “Umbrella.”
She then performed the award-winning song, wearing a low-cut black leotard and matching fedora. Rihanna could probably wear a fedora right now and I would go out and buy one. She is the fedora’s only hope.
Later, she joined Fall Out Boy in the Fall Out Boy Fantasy Suite to play her song “Shut Up and Drive.” She changed into a short A-line dress with a gold chain belt and wore one black glove.
In true Rihanna style, she showed up at the 2008 show with a whole new look. Her hair was an edgier cut with a blonde streak through it and she wore a simple strapless dress and white heels for the red carpet.
But she turned the up edginess up even more when it came time for her performance of “Disturbia” and “Seven Nation Army,” changing into thigh-high lace up boots and a v elaborate black leotard.
Princess Rihanna performed “Love the Way You Lie” with Eminem during the 2010 show. This was “Only Girl in the World”-era Rihanna, and it is flawless. The curly red hair, the long tutu, the sequined headband. I am a ghost.
2012 was a huge VMA year for Rihanna (I mean, they all are, but you know). She and Drake were nominated for the most awards with 5 nominations, and she showed up to the red carpet with a pixie cut looking like a Greek goddess in a long, white, toga-esque gown.
She ended up winning Video of the Year (again) for her song with Calvin Harris, “We Found Love.”
She swapped her gown for red leather pants and a long sheer top for her performance of “Cockiness (Love It)” and “We Found Love.”
While she didn’t perform during the show, she did sit back and enjoy a bucket of popcorn. Rihanna: She’s just like us.
What was your favorite Rihanna VMA look?