Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and his soon-to-be ex-wife, novelist MacKenzie Bezos, completely transformed their style over the course of their 25-year marriage, going from geek to chic as they rose to become one Silicon Valley’s most powerful couples.
Jeff, 54, and MacKenzie, 48, announced in a joint statement on Wednesday that they are getting divorced after more than two decades together. In the final years of their marriage, Jeff was dubbed a buff ‘style icon,’ while MacKenzie dazzled on the red carpet in simple yet elegant gowns.
The two are known for their sleek ensembles, toned figures, and incredible wealth, but they were far from style icons when they fell in love in the early ’90s. However, the more money they took in, the better and better they started to look.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and his soon-to-be ex-wife, MacKenzie Bezos, have gone from geek to chic over the course of their 25-year marriage. They’re pictured in 2003 (L) and 2018 (R)
Portraits of the Amazon CEO that were taken in 1997 — the year his company went public — show him wearing a blue button-down shirt and baggy pleated khaki pants
Jeff went from wearing ill-fitting suits in 2000 to showing off his buff arms in 2017
MacKenzie has certainly started styling herself in a much more glamorous fashion — with even her teeth looking straighter. She is pictured in 2003 (L) and in 2018 (R)
The former couple met at work in 1992 when Jeff was the first to interview MacKenzie at the investment management firm of DE Shaw.
At the time, Jeff was a vice president at the firm, and MacKenzie had come on board as a research associate, Business Insider reported.
The two Princeton graduates were engaged three months later and married in 1993. Their whirlwind romance all took place before he founded Amazon, which he started from a garage in Seattle in 1994.
Amazon was initially launched as an online bookstore, and Jeff dressed more like a librarian than the founder of a company that would go on to be worth nearly a trillion dollars.
Portraits of the Amazon CEO that were taken in 1997 — the year his company went public — show him wearing a blue button-down shirt, pleated khaki pants, and a black leather wrist watch while posing next to stacks of books.
MacKenzie studied fiction under the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Toni Morrison when she was a student at Princeton University in the early ’90s. The Beloved author, who was MacKenzie’s thesis adviser, was the one who connected her with famed literary agent Amanda ‘Binky’ Urban.
Jeff had yet to shave his head and MacKenzie was sporting no-nonsense cropped haircut when they attended the annual Allen & Company conference in Sun Valley, Idaho in 2003
Jeff and MacKenzie looked like they were dressed for a casual night out when they hit the red carpet in 2004
The couple sported casual long-sleeves and brown leather belts at an Amazon’s Sundance party in Park City, Utah in 2005
Jeff and MacKenzie were both wearing fleece tops while attending the Allen & Company conference in 2006
Toni told Vogue that MacKenzie was ‘one of the best students I’ve ever had in my creative-writing classes . . . really one of the best.’
While her husband was growing Amazon, MacKenzie was writing her first book, The Testing of Luther Albright: A Novel, which took her ten years to complete.
Before the novel was published in 2005, she made a few red carpet appearances with her husband, sporting a no-nonsense cropped haircut and casual clothes.
As both Jeff and MacKenzie’s profiles started to rise, so did their style.
Jeff shaved off his thinning brown hair, while MacKenzie grew her raven-haired locks past her shoulders. The older and richer they got, they younger they looked.
In addition to the physical changes to their appearances, their clothes also got an upgrade. Even when they were dressed casually, they were mixing trendier pieces into their wardrobes.
The two were looking far more glam when they attended The Aspen Institute 26th Annual Awards Dinner in New York City in 2009
Jeff and MacKenzie donned matching zip-ups and jeans at the Allen & Company conference in 2010. He wore a baseball cap and aviators, while she showed off her long locks
MacKenzie wowed on the red carpet while attending the Met Gala with Jeff in May 2012
By 2013, they were masters of casual style, with Jeff showing off his arms in a short-sleeve polo and MacKenzie rocking trendy wedge sneakers at the annual Allen & Company conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, that July.
Months before the conference, MacKenzie was profiled in Vogue ahead of the release of her second book, Traps.
During the interview, she admitted that Jeff was the one who would pick out clothes for her because she was more of a jeans-and-T-shirt type.
‘I pay attention to what she likes to wear, and you’d be amazed by how often things work,’ Jeff said of buying his wife clothes.
‘Sometimes I call her and say, “What’s your such-and-such size?” and she says, “Why?” and I say, “None of your business!” It delights her.”‘
He added: ‘I highly recommend it to any man.’
By 2013, they were masters of casual style. Jeff showed off his arms in a short-sleeve polo at the Allen & Company conference, while MacKenzie rocked trendy wedge sneakers
Jeff was wearing fitted suits while MacKenzie was opting for more stylish duds in 2014
Jeff and MacKenzie looked utterly glamorous as they hit the red carpet together in 2015
The couple was all about patterns at the inauguration of the Washington Post headquarters in Washington, D.C. in January 2016
Jeff looked dapper in a classic tuxedo and MacKenzie donned a maroon halter dress while attending the Golden Globe Awards in 2016
Jeff set the internet alight when his bulging muscles were peeking out from his polo shirt at the Allen & Company conference in 2017.
With his shaved head and tinted sunglasses — plus the buff biceps — many on Twitter couldn’t help but compare the Amazon CEO to action star Vin Diesel.
Gone were Jeff’s baggy shirts and receding hairline and there, among the richest and most influential people in the world, he seemed to emerge reborn.
Of course, Jeff didn’t transform overnight. In fact, the billionaire had begun hitting the gym hard as early as 2013.
That’s when Brad Stone, who has written about Jeff and Amazon, noted that the CEO was definitely undergoing some sort of physical training.
‘He looked a little pasty and rumpled after the ’90s, and now he’s clearly working out every day,’ Brad said at the time.
Jeff and MacKenzie share three sons and a daughter they adopted from China. Their oldest child, Preston, turned 18 in March. The family is pictured in 2016
The two were all smiles as they posed for photos at the Amazon Studios Golden Globes party in January 2017. MacKenzie looked incredible in a white gown featuring cutouts
Jeff and MacKenzie showed off their personal styles and their love for each other while visiting Rome in May 2017
In February 2017, the two wore matching black eveningwear to the Amazon Studios Oscar celebration
They also attended the Vanity Fair Oscar party that year, and MacKenzie looked utterly glamorous in a black gown that showed off her slim arms
The journalist predicted that Jeff, who owns space exploration company Blue Origin, was in astronaut training.
But Jeff, much like fellow billionaire Peter Thiel, also seems to be interested in the aging process in general.
Both men have invested in Unity Biotechnology, a company that is currently developing drugs to ‘halt, slow, or reverse age-associated diseases.’
As for his fitness routine, little is known about Jeff’s habits other than the fact that he still manages to get eight hours of sleep a night and once had octopus for breakfast at a business meeting.
In August, the New York Times hailed Jeff a ‘full-fledged style icon.’
Joseph Rosenfeld, a personal style adviser who specializes in the tech world in Silicon Valley and New York, told the Times that Jeff ‘is doing something with style that differentiates him from anyone else in tech.
Jeff set the internet alight when his bulging muscles were peeking out from his polo shirt at the Allen & Company conference in July 2017
After mastering their personal style, the two started taking more daring risks on the red carpet. They are pictured at the Sean Penn & Friends Haiti Rising benefit in January 2018
The two looked utterly glamorous at the Vanity Fair Oscar party in March 2018
‘We have seen him sharpen up, with a wardrobe rooted in tradition but also very modernist and minimal. It creates a focus on him, and has evolved in accordance with his business.’
MacKenzie, meanwhile, went from frumpy separates to sleek, form-fitting sheath dresses that she often accessorizes with a pair of classic pumps.
The writer looked like a bonafide Hollywood starlet when she attended the Vanity Fair Oscar party with her husband in March, wearing a figure-hugging red gown featuring a mermaid train.
The two were most-recently seen attending Senator John McCain’s funeral in early September. Jeff was wearing a classic black suit with a blue tie, while MacKenzie donned a long-sleeve black sheath and matching heels.
Jeff announced the news of their impending divorce by sharing their joint statement on Twitter Wednesday morning, shortly after 9 a.m. Eastern time.
‘As our family and close friends know, after a long period of loving exploration and trial separation, we have decided to divorce and continue our shared lives as friends,’ the read the statement, which was signed by both Jeff and MacKenzie.
‘If we had known we would separate after 25 years, we would do it again. We feel incredibly lucky to have found each other and deeply grateful for every one of the years we have been married to each other,’ the statement continued.
The couple was last photographed attending Senator John McCain’s funeral in September
Jeff (far right) attended Amazon Prime Video’s Golden Globe Awards after party with Mr. Robot series creator Sam Esmail (left), head of Amazon Studios Jennifer Salke (second from left), and the star of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Rachel Brosnahan (second from right)
Jeff took to Twitter on Wednesday to share a joint statement announcing their divorce
‘We’ve had such a great life together as a married couple, and we also see wonderful futures ahead, as parents, friends, partners in ventures and projects, and as individuals pursuing ventures and adventures.
‘Though the labels might be different, we remain a family, and we remain cherished friends.’
Jeff is worth close to $140 billion, according to Forbes, but their statement did not mention how they plan on splitting the fortune.
Much of that dollar amount comes from Jeff’s 16 per cent ownership stake in Amazon, which briefly became the second US-based company to reach a $1 trillion valuation in September (behind Apple), CNBC reported.
Amazon is now valued at $777.8 billion, according to Forbes, and passed Microsoft this week to become the world’s biggest publicly traded company by market capitalization.
The two live in Washington, a community property state, meaning all assets acquired during the marriage are split down the middle unless there’s a prenuptial agreement stating otherwise.
The division of the Bezos’ assets will be complicated because the two will continue to pursue joint ventures, according to the joint statement.
Jeff and MacKenzie share three sons and a daughter they adopted from China. Their oldest child, Preston, turned 18 in March.