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19/08/2021 05:00 BST | Updated 19/08/2021 07:43 BST

Little Mix: 20 Incredible Old Photos That Show Just How Far They've Come

It's been 10 years since Perrie Edwards, Jesy Nelson, Leigh-Anne Pinnock and Jade Thirlwall were put together on The X Factor.

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Little Mix pictured in December 2011

In the 10 years they’ve been in the public eye, Little Mix have topped the charts, dominated the headlines and become style icons in their own right.

But it wasn’t always that way.

You see, they’ve come so far in the past decade it’s easy to forget that the hit girl group started life as four girls who auditioned for The X Factor as soloists, only to be put together as a four-piece group by the judges at the eleventh hour.

And as these old photos show, they were still a long way off establishing themselves as the group we know and love today in that first year.

On the 10th anniversary of Little Mix’s formation, let’s take a stroll down memory lane and remember the girls as they were – clashing prints, patterned braces, questionable dye jobs and all...

Like One Direction before them, Little Mix were formed at Bootcamp, after originally auditioning as solo artists. It was Destiny’s Child singer Kelly Rowland who first saw the potential in the four-piece as a group.

ITV

A month later, the newly-formed Rhythmix (as they were then known) were off to Greece, where they performed for the first time in front of the very 2011 crowd of Tulisa and Jessie J.

ITV
Little Mix

In those days, X Factor was synonymous with its makeovers. After making it through to the live shows, here’s what X Factor’s team of stylists did to Jade, Jesy, Leigh-Anne and Perrie...

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4 October

As live shows got underway, the newly-formed band became known for their wardrobe, which included lots of bright colours, bold prints and shiny materials.

Ken McKayKen McKay/Talkback Thames/Shutterstock
8 October

Seriously, they loved a print.

Ken McKayKen McKay/Talkback Thames/Shutterstock
16 October 2011

It was this eerie Halloween week performance that cemented the girls’ place as contenders in what became a stiff competition...

Ken McKayKen McKay/Talkback Thames/Shutterstock

We’re giving you fair warning, do not look directly at these skirts...

Ken McKayKen McKay/Talkback Thames/Shutterstock

Or, frankly, these skirts (though that has less to do with their luminous properties)...

Ken McKayKen McKay/Talkback Thames/Shutterstock

As the renamed Little Mix’s popularity grew, they began being papped on their way to X Factor rehearsals.

BerettaBeretta/Sims/Shutterstock

Is this photo making anyone else want to buy some Dove soap? Just us?

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Eventually, Little Mix made it all the way to the X Factor final where they went up against Marcus Collins.

Ken McKay/Talkback Thames/Shutterstock
11 December

And we all know how that turned out by now...

Ken McKay/Talkback Thames/Shutterstock

The morning after their win, Little Mix made an appearance on Daybreak.

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12 December

Here they are posing with the oft-forgotten fifth member of Little Mix: Kate Garraway...

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Fresh from their X Factor victory, Little Mix opened the show at the NTAs in January 2012.

Mike Marsland via Getty Images

And, a month later, made their Brits debut. Later in their career, Little Mix would eventually go on to deliver a string of iconic Brits performances and – almost a decade after forming – became the first girl band in history to scoop Best British Group.

Dave Hogan via Getty Images

With superstardom within reach, the band made a string of public appearances in early 2012 in the lead-up to their debut album’s release.

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There is a lot going on here...

Alex Moss via Getty Images

On the band’s first birthday, they performed their debut single Wings at G-A-Y, and Jade was over the moon that the group got some balloons.

Jo Hale via Getty Images

And a year after that first performance in Greece, they topped the charts with their debut single Wings (like the band themselves, we’re just pretending that Cannonball doesn’t exist).

Officialcharts.Com/Shutterstock