By: Nick Olszewski
In recent years, fashion has become more gender-fluid, something that was frowned upon for quite some time. While this is a step in the right direction, it is important that we take a look at what has allowed us to become a more fluid community.
Two specific icons that I would like to highlight come from the world of music, and more specifically from two opposite sides of the spectrum. The icons that I am specifically referring to are Atlanta-based rapper Young Thug and the English Singer Harry Styles.
Young Thug is a rapper well known by the public for his boundary-pushing music, but maybe not as well known for his bold fashion choices. However, I believe that his impact on fashion is equally as important as his impact on music. Typically when we think of rappers we think of a strict streetwear style where each rapper looks the same. But in recent years, Young Thug has challenged the conventional masculinity within this group with his fearless approach to clothing. One great example of this can be seen on his critically acclaimed mix tape “Jeffery” where he is seen wearing an Alessandro Trincone-designed dress, which is now on display in the Museum of Fine Arts.
Young Thug's Jefferey
The album cover went on to receive criticism at first but since then Young Thug has continued to embrace vibrant colors, unconventional silhouettes, and avant-garde designs. This has allowed other artists in the genre such as Kid Cudi to become more expressive with their fashion. His unapologetic embrace of his unique style has inspired a new generation of men to experiment, encouraging them to express themselves regardless of what others may think.
Kid Cudi performing on SNL
Harry Styles has helped reach a different side of the music world, along with a large outreach on social media. In recent years, Styles has become celebrated for his eclectic and fluid style, effortlessly moving between a traditional masculine style to being able to express himself in typical more feminine clothing items. From tailored suits or baggy sweatpants to flowing blouses and skirts, Styles has broken the wall on gender norms and encouraged others to do the same. His most public example of his willingness to challenge fashion norms was in his Vogue photoshoot where he mixed typically masculine, and feminine items, wearing a dress with a tailored suit over it. Due to typical stigma, Harry received backlash at first, but he doubled down on his statement by wearing similar outfits on his recent tour.
Harry Styles for Vogue
Styles' influence on men's fashion is far-reaching, encouraging individuals to break free from the constraints of traditional menswear. His willingness to challenge expectations has sparked conversations about gender fluidity in the fashion industry, making space for everyone, regardless of gender identity, to explore their unique style preferences.
Thanks to both of these artists and countless other celebrities, fashion has taken a step in the right direction where people are able to express themselves regardless of gender identity.