Tim Roney/Getty Images
Just last week, the Spice Girls celebrated the 20th anniversary of "Wannabe" with a thank you video that teased potential news of a reunion. While we're still waiting for confirmation of what could be a nostalgic '90s dream come true, Geri Halliwell, aka "Ginger Spice," published a personal essay in Marie Claire that dives into everything from the early days as a group, their iconic fashion staples, and, most surprisingly, what the group was almost named.
"I was the oldest at 22 and had already experienced living away from home, so the other girls probably found me to be quite bossy," Halliwell writes about the moment all the girls moved in together for the first time. "Emma was the youngest at 18; she was like the little sister I never had, and I adored her immediately. Mel B and I became partners in crime, always getting into trouble together. Victoria and I had an equal, quite adult relationship. And Melanie C and I shared a childlike fascination for pop music and had big dreams of making it," she adds.
Halliwell recalls the group's fashion moments, and notes that they all wanted to match for their first-ever performance—"...because when you're in a band, you should all look the same, right?"—where 40 of their friends and family would see the act they'd prepared for all summer long. Little did they know that their style of choice was quintessential Spice Girls fashion. "We bought tight white vintage Adidas T-shirts for everyone in the band to wear," she writes. However, it was at that very moment the girls recognized that each one of them not only had different taste in clothes, but were very different. "It quickly became obvious that Victoria and Emma weren't exactly comfortable in the T-shirts we'd picked out. It was also obvious that the only way forward was to celebrate our individuality and let everyone be herself. So we did."
Geri recalls the personal style of each of her bandmates adding, "How you saw us in public was very much our own individual style: Mel B was street and funky; Emma was sweet and baby doll; Victoria was minimalist but designer-driven (I remember Victoria coming into the studio one day wearing Manolo Blahnik shoes, and I was mesmerized); Melanie C rocked the sneakers and tracksuits; as for me, I was a mix of everything vintage, sassy, and expressive (depending on what day it was!)." The firey-haired singer herself was known for her bold fashion choices, including a pair of Mary Quant boots she loved dearly. "I wore those same Mary Quant heels in the Spice Girls' first-ever music video, for our debut single, "Wannabe," just a few years later in 1996," she says.
Aside from the anecdotal early days of being a group and how each of the members embraced their individuality, the lengthy essay touches upon a very important topic, the group's name. "Ideas for band names were kicked around. 'Touch' was suggested by our management team. (It didn't stick, obviously.)," writes Halliwell. "We were so different, and our name had to feel like us, so we asked ourselves: What could fit all of us and show that diversity?" She eventually came up with "spice" while in aerobics class. "As I was stepping from side to side, 'Spice' popped into my head," she recalls. She brought up the suggestion to the girls, and the rest, as they say, is history. The very personal essay is a great read for any Spice Girls fan, and it will remind you that 20 years really does seem like just yesterday.
Feeling inspired to shop Spice Girls–inspired retro pieces for your wardrobe? Visit designer Mary Quant's online boutique.