Click here for last year's list.
Often credited for bringing rap to the mainstream, Run-DMC are truly pioneers in music. (This April, they will be inducted into the Rock and Rock Hall of Fame.) But with their unprecedented Adidas contract, slick black fedora and Lee jeans getups, they definitely made their mark on fashion as well. I remember as a little girl looking up to them with their gold rope chains and leather bombers and thinking their influence was just local. But now as an adult who has traveled the world, I know that they have inspired folks globally as well. And oh yeah, they're from Queens too. R.I.P. JMJ
He almost made my list last year but I had no choice but to add him this time around. Yeah I know we really only see him in (kinda boring) suits, but it's the way he wears those suits. Based on a convo I just had with women who are all several years my senior, I am reminded that a lot of folks still don't realize that true style has very little to do with clothes. Poor things. Obama is swagger personified. His confidence is so palpable that regardless of what he wears, he looks like he's the man in it. He and his family are going to play a major part in changing our country's obsession with materialistc things too - mark my words. (The recession might help do that a little bit too, lol.) The desire to wear $500 Evisu jeans and drive a car with rims that cost God knows how much is quickly dwindling. A lot of that is because of our new Prez whether people immediately recognize it or not. I think a lot of folks will start to say Hey, if he can be that cool without flaunting, then so can I.
Now I have to admit that Ye has been getting on my nerves a little bit as of late but I'm gonna cough it up to him still mourning the lost of his mother. Speaking of his mother (R.I.P. D.W.), she was a college English professor. Perhaps that had something to do with Kanye's style. He made being (or dressing like) a nerd cool. His obsession with LV is a bit much at times but I dig Kanye for coming on the scene and not being afraid to go slightly left with his backpack and snug fitting jeans. Today's popularity of the preppy kid meets b-boy look is very much because of Kanye. (Maybe Pharrel will make next year's list.)
C’mon. Who else can pull off roller sets (tight ones I might add), purple britches, ruffles and high heels yet still manage to be one of the biggest sex symbols to women for the past three decades? No one. Prince paved the way for guys like Andre 3000 (who I bigged up last year). Even the hardest cats I know give Prince his props for being that dude. Oh yeah, and he's only like 5 feet tall but he never, ever seems like he's not in control. Like ever. And both Prince and I adore the color purple.
ANDRE LEON TALLEY
He's been holding down a coveted position as editor-at-large of American Vogue for years. Talley is reportedly 6'7" tall and far from a string bean but he slides into a room as graceful as someone half his size. He's a very big Black man, which in the fashion and publishing industries is beyond rare, but that doesn't stop him from wearing whatever he wants. From velour track suits to velvet slippers... Who can't respect that? I secretly think we have a special connection too because we both have roots in North Carolina. And though he never responded to the corny letter I sent him after reading his book a few years ago, I have learned a thing or two from Talley, even if it has all been from a distance.
Did I forget someone? Leave me a comment and let me know. The female list is coming next week!