She inspired women across the country to rock supersized gold earrings and combat boots in the early '90s. Later, she showed African-American women that it was OK to have a short blond 'do.
As she matured, her style evolved into classic, and elegant, with a twist of urban chic. Mary J. Blige knows style.
Now the songstress, who has been dubbed the queen of hip-hop, soul and R&B, has launched Melodies by MJB sunglasses.
Fans lined up Wednesday evening at Nordstrom in Towson Town Center for an opportunity to have their photograph taken with Blige after purchasing the glasses, which range from $165 to $225.
This is Blige's second product donning her name. In July, she launched "My Life," a fragrance packaged in a frosted, heart-shaped bottle, that is distributed by Carol's Daughter.
In addition to promoting her new line, Blige was in the area as part of a musical tour with Jazmine Sullivan, El DeBarge and Miguel. The four will perform Thursday at Jiffy Lube Live in Bristow, Va.
Blige spoke with The Baltimore Sun about her sense of style, beauty regimen and dream musical collaborators:
Question: Why did you launch an eyewear line?
Answer: I've been wearing sunglasses throughout my career, if you look back. It's just an extension of me—just like my fragrance—that I wanted to share with my people.
Q: How did you develop your sense of style/fashion?
A: I just kind of do what's comfortable for me and I grow from there. Then it becomes a trend or whatever it may be.
Q: Tell me a little bit about your makeup. Who does it? What brand do you wear?
A: D'Andre Michaels [from Los Angeles] does my makeup. I don't know what he uses. It just works.
Q: Any plans for you to come out with your own makeup line?
A: I don't think I'll be coming out with anything like that. But D'Andre is coming out with his own makeup line.
Q: What are your favorite and least favorite hairdos you've had over the years?
A: [Laughing] Whew. Too many of those.
Q: What were you wearing before your eyewear line came out?
A: I was wearing a lot of Olive Peoples, Chanel, a lot of them. I can't even think of all the names right now.
Q: Who is your dream musical collaborator?
A: Wow! So many people. That's always a tough question for me. I would say Anita Baker out of the gate, and Lady Gaga.