Blondie’s Debbie Harry defined the punk style that’s everywhere again

Before Deborah Ann “Debbie” Harry became the iconic blonde woman of the new wave punk band blonde, she was the adopted daughter of two New Jersey gift shop owners, a go-go dancer and Playboy Bunny. It wasn’t until the mid-’70s that she hit the stage as a singer, but throughout she had more style and attitude than she knew what to do, a badass coquetry that made of her a star. Beyond her hair and eye makeup, she was a pioneer of the mid-70s/late-80s style seen everywhere on the runways today, from one-shoulder tops to berets. to colorful tights. And at 71, she hasn’t lost her touch. These days, you can see her at fashion week parties in Paris, New York and everywhere in between, and most recently, she starred in a dress that read, “Stop fucking the planet.” . As for her musical career, Blondie today released her 11th studio album, pollinator, which features collaborations with young artists like Charli XCX and Dev Hynes. More than 40 years after the creation of the group, their influence is great.

Debbie Harry wears a blue one-shoulder jumpsuit to perform with Blondie around 1970. She would wear similar silhouettes throughout her career.

Bondie was doing merchandising long before anyone else. Here, Debbie Harry wears the punk rock band’s embroidered slogan sweater.

Being a punk rocker and all, Debbie Harry’s style was flashy but never ostentatious; stylish not fashionable. Here she is wearing denim shorts and a tank top in Coney Island.

Debbie Harry wears a ‘punk’ t-shirt and scarf during a photoshoot on January 1, 1977 in New York City.

Debbie Harry performs with Blondie onstage in February 1977 in Los Angeles, California, wearing a pink beret, sunglasses and pants.

Debbie Harry wears a striped (and ripped) halter top to perform onstage with Blondie in April 1977 in Los Angeles, California.

Debbie Harry poses with Blondie wearing a Starliner 77 tank top, jeans and pumps at the Bel Air Sand Hotel in 1977 in Los Angeles, California.

Debbie Harry poses in front of the Hollywood sign in 1977 wearing a floral skirt, striped shirt, sunglasses and her signature heels.

Debbie Harry toughens up her look wearing cargo pants, boots, a button down shirt and a leather jacket in London, England, circa 1977.

Debbie Harry wears a one-shoulder t-shirt and red tie when she performs circa 1977. To offset the top, she pulled her hair back into a right-side ponytail.

During a visit to Shinko Music in Tokyo in January 1978, Debbie Harry wore a black mini dress with figure-eight cutouts and knee-high boots.

Backstage at Whiskey a Go Go circa 1978 in Los Angeles, California, Debbie Harry was photographed in a “Vulture” shirt and beret.

Debbie Harry sings with blue gloves at Blanford Studios in Marylebone, London, while performing a pop promo for Blondie’s single ‘I’m Always Touched By Your Presence Dear’ for Chrysalis Records.

Debbie Harry performs “Heart of Glass” on the television show Midnight Special which aired on January 19, 1979 in Los Angeles, California. She wears a blue romper with matching tights and a headband.

In the late 70s and early 80s, Debbie Harry really started experimenting with head-to-toe color. Here she is wearing a yellow romper and matching tights.

Debbie Harry attends the ‘Art Against AIDS’ cocktail and auction at Sotheby’s in New York with Richard Gere wearing a colorful ensemble.

Debbie Harry performs in Amsterdam in 1989 wearing a leopard print jumpsuit and black knee high boots. Even in her 50s, she wasn’t afraid to take risks.

Debbie Harry poses against a wall at the Marcus Amphitheater in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, wearing a bold red fringed costume ensemble.

Debbie Harry wears a surreal, colorful jumpsuit to the City Kids Foundation Benefit in New York circa 1999.

Debbie Harry attends the ‘Coach Prom’ in a letter jacket, camouflage dress and metallic boots at the Salomon de Rothschild Hotel on March 1, 2016 in Paris, France.

Never subtle, Debbie Harry performed at the Roundhouse in London in 2017 wearing a dress that read, “Stop fucking the planet.”

Diana J. Carleton