Style icons 

Words: Tom Goldson
Photography: DAVID K SHIELDS

Mzwétwo on the fashion icons who have influenced his rap meets rock ’n’ roll look 

Rising New Zealand hip hop voice Mzwétwo has never been short of confidence, and he’s channelled that self-belief into an impressive output of EPs that take stylistic cues from some unlikely sources.

Fashion can’t be separated from the constant stream of music he self-produces: Mzwétwo designs his own clothes, directs his own videos, and is not shy to declare himself New Zealand hip hop’s best dressed. Here he riffs on the fashion icons who have influenced his rap meets rock ’n’ roll aesthetic.

5. Guns N’ Roses

The whole original band looked the part, but Axel Rose and Slash deserve special mention. Axel is a massive influence on me because he’d wear Converse high-tops with his name embroidered on the tongue, Starter snapbacks and football shirts. The same with Slash; I saw this photo where he was wearing a Starter cap, a rock ’n’ roll T-shirt, black jeans and Nikes – it’s just like what me and my friends are wearing now.

4. The Ramones

I love how they tucked their shirts into their jeans and wore them real high – same goes for their leather jackets. Joey [Ramone] used to wear all-black and he had these cool leather gloves. Their style was like their music – straight to the point, no messing about.

3. Theophilus London

Theophilus is super-fresh. He’ll wear blazers, ripped jeans, some nice boots and one of those brim caps, but everything will be super-tailored so it fits him just right. He is one stylish man.  

2. Jimi Hendrix

Hendrix was always fresh. I love the blazers and the shirts that he wore, how he’d have the buttons undone, and his hair was always cool. Every time I see a video of Jimi I think he gets it wrong when it comes to the jeans, but I guess everyone around his era messed that up – but from the top up, he killed it. Even though it comes off as effortless, you know so much effort went into how he put it together.

1. Micheal Jackson 

The stuff that he wore was just so ridiculous, but he could pull it off. Especially in the Bad era; that leather jacket with the gold he wore on tour was crazy, even the Bad music video. And you can’t forget the red jacket with the zippers from the Thriller video, that’s an all-time classic. 

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01 2015 The Red Bulletin

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