7 rock stars who’ve helped to define men’s fashion

men's fashionMusic has a long love affair with fashion. Who do you think of when you picture the iconic rock stars who've influenced the clothes you wear? Despite high levels of androgyny within both industries, many will point to male musicians as the answer.

Analysis of the male rock stars who've impacted the fashion scene is wide but for the most part, unvaried. Recent history brings to mind images of skinny jeans peddled by The Strokes' Julian Casablancas and Nick Valensi; iconic Britpop parkas worn by Liam and Noel Gallagher; the reclaimed ramshackle of The Libertines's Pete Doherty and Carl Barat... Over the past few decades, men have been championed as embodying rock star style right up to the eclectic look of 1975's Matt Healy.

These styles have roots in history, dating back to iconic figures such as The Rolling Stones' Keith Richards, David Bowie, and Guns'n'Roses frontman Axl Rose.

Despite the XY orientation of named icons, it was largely female and LGBTQ fashion designers who began to marry to the two industries together. The 1990s acted as a catalyst for rock music taking on the catwalk: away from the dazzling lights of Gucci et al, fashion designers took note of the grunge and punk scenes thriving around them. Vivienne Westwood had already established herself as a force to be reckoned with, while Chanel and Ann Demeulemeester also championed the fringes in their work. There were contributions from male fashion designers, amongst them a standout from Marc Jacobs for his fall collection of 1993, but even he chose female (and not male) supermodels to demonstrate his new direction.

From Byron-esque blouses to the hippy culture, the same can be said of fashion throughout time.

So who do you think of when you picture the iconic rock stars who've influenced the clothes you wear and men's fashion?

Kate Moss

Kate Moss

A rock star? In everything but job title. Kate Moss' look doesn't reinvent the wheel, but even when she's running errands, she's a classic example of a woman influencing men's fashion in the music industry. And when it comes to editorial and catwalk appearances, there's no denying her input. Immortalised in her Vogue shoots for Peter Lindbergh, her bare-chest, open jacket ensemble has been echoed by men as far-flung as Kings of Leon.

Courtney LoveKurt Cobain

While Kurt Cobain is often referenced for his gender-bending style, let's not forget, he was borrowing his wife's clothes.

Patti SmithPatti Smith

On the subject of Demeulemeester, Patti Smith - who the designer once donated an entire wardrobe of clothes - stands tall when it comes to this page in the fashion bible. A walking embodiment of the word 'androgyny', like Moss, she can't be credited for her loo, but her laid-back and slept in suit look continues to be emulated by countless male musicians including Nick Cave.

Janis Joplin and Grace Slick

Responsible for the pirate gypsy look of the 1960s in equal part, American singer-songwriters and rock goddesses Janis Joplin and Grace Slick both peddled the look throughout the decade. Look familiar? It should.

Pamela Des Barres

Pamela de Barres

The frontwoman of Sunset Strip band The GTOs; during their short-lived career, the five-piece worked with Frank Zappa in the production chair. Do you see any similarities? Pamela Des Barres would also go on to clothes swap with The Who's drummer, Keith Moon.

Anita Pallenberg

Anita Pallenberg

A girlfriend of both Keith Richards and Brian Jones, German model, and actress Anita Pallenberg was a muse to The Rolling Stones and so-say influenced the songs "Angie" and "You Got the Silver". She also loaned band members her clothes, and in doing so, created their early image of ruffled shirts and velvet jackets. One of few women to be credited for her style input in the mainstream media, Pallenberg squarely deserves a place on this list.


One Response to “7 rock stars who’ve helped to define men’s fashion”


  1. 7 rock stars who’ve helped to define men’s fashion – Live List - 26/10/2017

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