Music drives style—so it’s only fitting that for the 61st Grammy Awards on Sunday, the men in attendance dressed all the way up. In the process, they gave us a look at the state of cutting-edge fashion: we saw super-slick suits, a surprising amount of lace, some hand-embellished corduroys, and enough leather to turn you vegan. Here are our picks for the sharpest dudes of the night.
Marcus Paul and Pusha T #42/199
Marcus Paul in a Dries van Noten coat #
As seen in Billboard Magazine: J. Balvin, styled by Marcus Paul is seen outside Louis Vuitton on day three of Paris Fashion Week Menswear SS19 on June 21, 2018 in Paris.
Photo by Christian Vierig/Getty Images
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Though Zara Larsson didn’t wind up getting a Moonman in the Best New Artist category at last night’s VMAs (Aug. 28), she certainly made an impression in the style department. For her first trip to the awards show, the 18-year-old wore a vintage velour Thierry Mugler sweetheart dress in a striking shade of green, black peep-toe heels, and matching emerald and diamond jewelry.
You’ve styled Zara for four months now. How has her approach to fashion changed since working together?
Zara has her own style and when we work together, it’s a collaboration. She knows what she likes, and she’ll tell you if she doesn’t like something. For the VMAs there were so many great options — that’s a good problem to have.
Tell us about the inspiration for Zara’s VMA look.
Sartorial derring-do has long defined hip-hop’s streetwear fashions. But with hoodies and sweatshirts reaching critical mass, a refined take on hip-hop style is emerging. Brooklyn-based men’s stylist and former model Marcus Paul is an evangelist for the movement, taking a polished-is-better approach when dressing stars like LeBron James, Jay Z, Pusha T and Desiigner. “I care about the quality of the garment, which a lot of younger people don’t seem to care about.”
To that end, Paul leans on tailored indie brands and highbrow European labels for the artists he styles.
For Pusha T’s 2015 album Darkest Before Dawn, Paul selected a fitted embellished sweater overcoat by Belgian designer Dries Van Noten, whose fabrics and use of color and patterns “are amazing,” says Paul. “I don’t have anything against streetwear, but I’m looking for details and not necessarily brands.”
On 2011’s “No Church in the Wild,” Jay Z raps about a cocaine white Rolls Royce, “drug dealer chic.” Yesterday, he and G.O.O.D. Music president Pusha T dropped their latest single, “Drug Dealers Anonymous,” that will be on Push’s forthcoming album. It’s no secret that Push very well could be the king of coke rap, so maintaining a look that doesn’t abandon his own personal style, but is good enough for the president of G.O.O.D. Music, adidas collaborator, and OG in the game is important. To help him get there, meet Marcus Paul, the man behind Pusha’s style.
With an impressive list of clients—including Lebron James, Jay Z, and C.C. Sabathia—Paul tells us his business has grown solely through word of mouth and the strong rapport he has with his clients beyond just improving their closets. “Every client I’ve worked with, I try to build a relationship with them, because it’s not only a professional relationship, but also a personal one, and I think that that’s important,” he says. Paul strives to show his level of dedication and immersion beyond picking the right belt or sneaker. Clothing helps his clients play the part of the well put-together celebrity who is ready to go at all times. “They’re extremely tired, but they’ve still got to put on that mask of, ‘Yo, I’m an artist, I’ve got to smile, I’ve got to do what I’ve got to do.’ It’s important, and I admire that,” he adds. This level of connection has served him well as he continues to add new names to his clientele list, including those he says he is not yet at liberty to share, but excited to hint toward. “Let’s just say, they have some things that are out already that are making waves,” he says about two of his recent acquisitions.
By Bee Shapiro
Jacket: I love the pieces from ‘By Walid’. It’s this London brand my stylist Marcus Paul put me on to some time ago. This piece is silk with 18th-century embroidery. Every jacket is a one-off. I actually went to the designer’s studio last week in London and got to meet him. It was pretty fresh. He’s extremely artsy and a really cool guy. He had some newer patterns and jackets to choose from. For me, the details matter: Fashion and hip-hop are always about being first and being different and being able to set yourself apart from the bunch.
For the full NYTimes article, click here.
Marcus Paul styling Tristan Thompson for the ESPY’s, where he repped the Red Carpet. Tristan got some excellent press coverage and lots of compliments all around for his Style:
Tristan Thompson: Thompson’s ESPYs fashion centered around his jacket, which he described as “honey yellow.” He was styled by Marcus Paul.
If you aren’t familiar with Marcelo Burlon’s incredibly dope T-shirts by now, then you’re simply not paying attention. With a resume that spans nearly every type of creative field you can think of, the Argentina-native is about to go well beyond tees in his sartorial endeavors. Marcelo came through the office and dropped knowledge on his upcoming LeBron James collab, how he’s homies with Pusha T, and what to expect from his County of Milan label.
Can you tell me what you’re wearing right now?
I’m just wearing a pair of Jordans, Cheap Monday jeans, my own T-shirt, and these sunglasses. They’re new from Milan, called Tyg Spectacles.
What are you doing for New York Fashion Week?
I’m gonna do a party with Opening Ceremony on Pier 57. It’s going to be me and Devendra Banhart playing back-to-back. Also Virgil Abloh. We’re gonna do a hip-hop, disco, and deep house set. We’re gonna make people [whispers] wet. For real.
You have a great relationship with Pusha T. Can you tell us how that started?
Last year I came to New York for Opening Ceremony’s 10-year anniversary, and I met Marcus Paul. We had lunch and he told me about some of his clients. He said Pusha T, and I didn’t know who Pusha T was, but I knew the Clipse because I was a big Pharrell Williams fan.
We couldn’t afford to give any T-shirts to anyone but I pushed my company to launch the brand in December during Art Basel in Miami. So Marcus went to the Webster and they bought 55 pieces and they used it for the first video for Pusha T and Fabolous song “Life is so Exciting.” [Sings] “The life, the life, the life is so exciting!” After the video I said, “Hey, I’d like to do a collaboration with you, Pusha.” We sent him our ideas and he loved it. We met in Paris for dinner, became really good friends, and I think we’re gonna do something together soon.
What’s coming up for Fall ’13?
Collaboration with Marcus Paul and LeBron James. We’re gonna do 1,000 pieces only for my website, for Marcus’ store, and Pusha’s store. That’s a big one. There’s a few other big collaborations that I can’t really say.