STYLE IN COLOR,THIS A MEAN ASS CREW, I HOPE YALL ULTIMATELY SEE OCEANS 7 IN THIS LIGHT
Alto saxophonist, Duke Ellington Orchestra
“You can tell he was in Duke Ellington’s band—meaning that he was an extremely well-dressed gentleman. But at the same time, Johnny was something of a rogue, and much more of a dandy than Duke himself. Check out the hat, and the bold, super-luxe suit… I think you could say Johnny was a counterpoint to Duke’s more subdued brand of elegance.
Actor (best known for the Shaft movie series)
“It’s the all-leather look—leather jacket, leather pants, leather driving gloves—and it says, I’m stylish, and don’t mess with me. That Black Panther vibe, a little bit. Some people take issue with blaxploitation stereotypes, but it was what it was—and many were proud to have an African-American playing an action hero who kicked butt and at the same time looked great.
Singer and songwriter
“Everyone’s wearing denim shirts these days, and I like to think Marvin has something to do with that. This is a true workwear look he’s pulling off here—vintage Americana, the stuff everyone’s wild for now. He made denim-on-denim cool for us… and I love the way he contrasts it with the red knit hat.”
Singer, actor, civil rights activist
“He was a calypso singer, and his style really incorporated the Caribbean vibe. He’d do things like leave two or three buttons undone on his dress shirts—laid-back, warm-weather stuff. Here he is in London, wearing a turtleneck under a suede overcoat, with houndstooth pants—amazing. He always put his own unique spin on everything.”
“A plaid shirt with a striped coat; that may contradict some people’s ideas of what ‘correct’ pattern mixing is, but he’s pulling it off. He expressed himself in his personal style as strongly as he did in his paintings. And as a graffiti artist, he was influenced by the streets: not too tailored, but always showing people that he knew how to dress.
Actor, director, writer
“Seeing A Raisin in the Sun, with Sidney as Walter Lee Younger, was a pivotal style moment for us—he was just such a sharp individual. The way he’d tuck his polo shirts into his trousers…sharp. His style was about simplicity, and keeping things clean-cut. And he could pull off an amazing slim suit. I think he was the first black actor who made people think, Wow, this guy is no joke.“
Sammy Davis Jr.
Singer, dancer, TV and movie star
“A sharp-dressed Rat Pack member, and an all-around stand-up guy. The first African-American to grace GQ‘s cover. He wore the kind of stuff we’d wear today: slim ties, tailored suit jackets, tapered pants. I love how unguarded and irreverent he is here, tap dancing on his hotel-room table, in a high-cropped one-button gray flannel suit and Beatle boots. He was never afraid to step outside of the box and do things his own way.