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Photos of Flo-Jo’s style – and the evolution of nails, from daring to bolder


When it comes to Olympic style, there is no competition: Florence Griffith Joyner was not only the fastest woman of all time, she was also one of the most avant-garde.

The athletics icon, better known as Flo-Jo, captivated the sports world in the 1980s when she set the still-unbroken world record for women’s sprint in the 100-meter and 200 meters at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea.

But the people watching at home didn’t just want to be as fast as Flo-Jo, they also wanted to look as cool as her, said Darnell jamal lisby, fashion historian and curator.

“Flo-Jo’s style merged and updated the functional sportswear of traditional runners with jazzy, lace-like fabrications and refreshing silhouettes that exuded a sense of spectacle with her eclectic energy,” said Lisby. at HuffPost. “She designed many of her own uniforms, so they were her own.”

The California-born Olympian was stunned by brightly colored asymmetrical tracksuits and bold 6-inch-long acrylic nails, often with American or Olympic-themed gold designs. (In this arena, it didn’t hurt that she was a former hair and nail technician.)

“Any black woman who wouldn’t normally see nail work and nail art outside of the magazines, nail salons they frequented, or their neighborhoods could turn on the TV and see Flo-Jo sporting these looks,” he said. declared Cieja Springer, style expert and host of the “From the Bottom Up” podcast. “It was epic. She was fierce and daring, but refined.

Griffith Joyner’s untimely death in 1998 did not dull its luster or its legacy. Tributes to the star of the track are frequent. Beyoncé dressed up as her for Halloween in 2018. For her debut match at the 2021 Australian Open, Serena Williams honored the legendary sprinter by wearing a black, red and hot pink asymmetric tennis unitard. And 21-year-old sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson’s affinity for long acrylic nails – not to mention her speed has led to many comparisons to Flo-Jo.

Beyoncé dressed up as Griffith Joyner for Halloween in 2018. (The singer’s husband Jay-Z dressed up as Olympic gold medalist Tommie Smith.) In 2021, Serena Williams paid tribute to Flo-Jo in a jumpsuit. asymmetric tennis shoe.

But back to the legend itself. Below are some of Flo-Jo’s most glamorous and memorable looks.

1984

Tony Duffy via Getty Images

Florence Griffith Joyner concentrates as she prepares for competition at the 1984 Olympic Trials.

1985

David Madison via Getty Images

Griffith Joyner participated in the Foot Locker Invitational Track Meet in June 1985 at Edwards Stadium on the campus of the University of California at Berkeley.

1986

Tony Duffy via Getty Images

Griffith Joyner runs on a beach.

1986

Tony Duffy via Getty Images

Griffith Joyner shows off her trademark nails.

1986

Tony Duffy via Getty Images

Griffith Joyner poses in formal dress.

1986

Bob Martin via Getty Images

Griffith Joyner competes in the women’s 200 meter event at the IAAF Mazda Cologne Grand Prix track competition in August 1986 in Cologne, Germany.

1986

David Madison via Getty Images

Griffith Joyner signs autographs at the Bislett Grand Prix track and field meet on July 5, 1986, at Bislett Stadium in Oslo, Norway.

January 1987

Bob Martin via Getty Images

Griffith Joyner walks down the track during a meeting in Rome.

1987

Bob Martin via Getty Images

Griffith Joyner prepares for the women’s 200 meters event at the Stadionfest International Athletics Competition (ISTAF) on August 21, 1987 in Berlin.

1987

Tony Duffy via Getty Images

Griffith Joyner stretched during a photoshoot in 1987.

1987

Tony Duffy via Getty Images

Griffith Joyner represents the United States

1987

Tony Duffy via Getty Images

Griffith Joyner in another legendary costume.

February 1988

Tony Duffy via Getty Images

Griffith Joyner during training in February 1988 in Los Angeles.

April 1988

Tony Duffy via Getty Images

Griffith Joyner and her husband, Al Joyner, 1984 Olympic gold medalist in the triple jump.

April 1988

Tony Duffy via Getty Images

Griffith Joyner wears yellow during a photoshoot in April 1988 in Los Angeles.

April 1988

Tony Duffy via Getty Images

Griffith Joyner poses in a red draped dress.

July 1988

David Madison via Getty Images

Griffith Joyner competes in the women’s 100-meter prelims for the 1988 US Olympic Track and Field Trials held in July at the IU Michael A. Carroll Track and Field Stadium in Indianapolis.

July 1988

Tony Duffy via Getty Images

Griffith Joyner descends the track during the 1988 Olympic trials.

July 1988

David Madison via Getty Images

Griffith Joyner wears pink at the 1988 Olympic trials.

July 1988

David Madison via Getty Images

Griffith Joyner competes in the women’s 200-meter quarterfinal of the 1988 United States Olympic Track and Field Trials, held on July 22 at IU Michael A. Carroll Track & Soccer Stadium in Indianapolis.

July 1988

David Madison via Getty Images

Griffith Joyner dons a t-shirt in his image during the 1988 Olympic trials.

July 1988

David Madison via Getty Images

Griffith Joyner at the 1988 Olympic Trials in one of her most iconic looks.

July 1988

Tony Duffy via Getty Images

Griffith Joyner waves to the crowd at the Olympic Trials.

September 1988

David Madison via Getty Images

Griffith Joyner competes in the first round of the women’s 100 meters of the 1988 Summer Olympics on September 24 at the Jamsil Olympic Stadium in Seoul, South Korea.

September 1988

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Griffith Joyner celebrates by winning a gold medal at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, Korea.

September 1988

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Griffith Joyner displays her 1988 Olympic Games medals.

September 1988

Tony Duffy via Getty Images

Griffith Joyner displays her medals from the 1988 Olympics.

October 1988

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Griffith Joyner is pictured during the U.S. Olympic team’s trip to the White House in 1988.

1988

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Husband and wife track and field athletes Griffith Joyner and husband Al Joyner pose for a portrait at home circa 1988 in Los Angeles.

1988

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The Joyners in matching yellow dresses.

1988

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The Joyners together at Penn Plaza in Manhattan circa 1988.

October 1988

Ron Galella, Ltd. via Getty Images

Griffith Joyner and her sister-in-law, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, attend the 9th Annual Woman’s Sports Foundation Awards on October 17, 1988, at the Marriott Marquis in New York City.

November 1988

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Griffith Joyner attends the 16th Annual International Emmy Awards on November 21, 1988 at the Sheraton Hotel in New York City.

1989

Tony Duffy via Getty Images

Griffith Joyner walks the runway in zebra print.

January 1989

Tony Duffy via Getty Images

Griffith Joyner poses for a photo with her daughter, Mary.

February 1989

Focus on sport via Getty Images

Griffith Joyner and her husband pose with the Jesse Owens International Awards Trophy.

June 1989

Tony Duffy via Getty Images

Griffith Joyner stands on the track before a race.

June 1989

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Griffith Joyner poses for a photo with young track and field athletes.

April 1991

Ron Galella via Getty Images

Bodybuilder Rachel McLish and Griffith Joyner attend the 12th Annual Sports Emmy Awards on April 3, 1991, at the Marriott Marquis in New York City.

September 1991

Ron Galella, Ltd. via Getty Images

The Joyners attend a party for Richard Pryor on September 7, 1991, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills.

June 1993

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The Joyners attend the “Rookie of the Year” premiere on June 26, 1993 at the Cineplex Odeon Theater in Century City, California.

July 1995

Ron Galella, Ltd. via Getty Images

Griffith Joyner at the Dean Witter Discover Credit Card celebrity art exhibit on July 12, 1995, at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City.

1997

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A portrait of Griffith Joyner in Los Angeles in 1997.

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