Thundercat: ‘This outfit looks playful, but it’s very serious’ | Fashion

This outfit stands out to me because it’s always fun to put on. It looks very playful but it isn’t; it’s very serious. The giant sweater that I’m wearing is by Dope Tavio – it’s a handmade custom piece. I have a hoodie underneath and a vest on top. I’m also wearing leopard-print earmuffs and the two white things on my head are like receptors from the cartoon Neon Genesis Evangelion. Plus I have a giant yellow Pikachu backpack with a Pikachu hanging off the side. There’s so much you can do with the layers – I enjoy messing around and decorating it.

Cartoons are a major part of my style. I prefer to watch cartoons, but also I feel like people shy away from creativity when it comes to making a statement with clothing, and those things are not inhibited in cartoons. I am a cartoon sometimes.

During lockdown, I definitely have been playing dress-up. I feel like the Japanese part of my wardrobe excels because it’s cut differently and very flowing. I’m a big anime nerd so I have lots of T-shirts with anime references. Lockdown has given the way people view fashion a different dynamic: sometimes it’s OK to get dressed up just to sit down. I get made fun of because I’m the guy who will get dressed up to go to the grocery store, but there’s always a chance to enjoy the creativity.

When it comes to fashion, one of my favourite people is Taz Arnold. He is part of an LA-based trio called the Sa-Ra Creative Partners. Also Erykah Badu – I’m a big fan of hers. I also really enjoy Japanese style and Dapper Dan, of course. I tend to believe that everyone’s sense of style is theirs and theirs only – I’m often very shy to give my opinion because I don’t want to be too much of an influence.

I would describe my own style as “free”. It has changed over the years because I started to care less about what other people thought and learned to trust myself a bit more. If someone was to see me walking down the street wearing a giant bunch of feather plumes it would be a bit jarring, but I feel like every day is a day on stage.

Thundercat’s album It Is What It Is is out now

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