Bretman Rock arrived at the 2021 VMAs in a vintage Roberto Cavalli dress worn by Aaliyah more than 20 years ago

Bretman Rock (left) at the 2021 VMAs and Aaliyah (right) at the 2000 VMAs.
Rock paid tribute to the late singer Aaliyah at the 2021 VMAs. KMazur/WireImage, Taylor Hill/FilmMagic
  • Bretman Rock arrived on the 2021 VMA red carpet in a dress once worn by singer Aaliyah.
  • After finding out he was allowed to wear the Roberto Cavalli gown, he said he “cried in disbelief.”
  • Aaliyah wore the same dress to the awards ceremony 21 years ago.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Beauty influencer Bretman Rock arrived at the 2021 MTV Video Music Awards wearing the exact same black and yellow striped feathered dress worn by singer Aaliyah to the show 21 years ago, he shared on Instagram.

Rock, who was born in the Philippines but now lives in a mansion in Hawaii, according to his Architectural Digest house tour, styled the eye-catching Roberto Cavalli gown once worn by Aaliyah with thigh-high leather boots.

It was at the same MTV awards ceremony in 2000 when the R&B singer won “Best Female Video” for her song “Try Again.”

Bretman Rock pictured at the 2021 VMA's in vintage Roberto Cavalli.
Rock said ‘no one will ever rock it like Aaliyah.’ Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for MTV/ ViacomCBS

The following year, at only 22, the five-time Grammy award-nominated artist died tragically in a plane crash, according to ABC News.

Captioning his outfit post on Instagram, the 23-year-old, who was voted People’s choice for beauty influencer of the year in 2019, directly paid tribute to Aaliyah. Sharing how much it meant for him to channel her style, he wrote: “No one will ever rock it like Aaliyah,” before thanking Roberto Cavalli for the gown, which Vogue reported is from the designer’s autumn/winter 2000 runway collection.

A post shared by Bretman (Da Baddest) Rock (@bretmanrock)

“I never thought I would ever be able to wear this, let alone be in the VMAs, when they said I could wear it I literally cried of disbelief,” Rock added. “I love Aaliyah and am so honored to have been able to wear this 21 years after her. We love you.”

According to a tweet from Tomás Mier, a journalist for People magazine, the gown was pulled from Roberto Cavalli’s personal archive on the 20th anniversary of her death on August 25.

Representatives for Rock did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.