The other day I had a scary thought – What if Frank Ocean has completely quit music? His excellent debut album Channel Orange was released in July 2012, nearly 3 years and 4 months ago. In the current musical climate, that’s a long time to wait before releasing a new project. While the media and sources close to Ocean claim that his new album (reportedly called Boys Don’t Cry) is finished and will be out “soon”, November 1st is here and it’s still quiet.
Before completely giving over to this depressing possibility, let’s shift the focus to his incredible style.
While mixing high end fashion with streetwear is certainly nothing new (in fact now days it’s ubiquitous), seeing it executed well is still a rarity. Enter Frank; who in my opinion, wholeheartedly personifies this trend.
As a decidedly enigmatic figure in music and beyond, Ocean hints to aspects of his personality through his style choices.
Just as at home in a pair of jeans and a printed tee as he is in an impeccable white suit, Ocean never looks unkempt. The overall cohesion in his style stems from this polished and clean presentation. Even when he’s keeping it downtown in heavily patterned Supreme and royal blue Jordan 1’s, elegance drips from every limb. While street/skate labels like Supreme, Vans, and Nike certainly boast unwavering relevance, it can’t hurt sales to have people like Frank Ocean rocking your apparel.
On the other end of the scale, Ocean has become somewhat of a brand rep for his close friend Riccardo Tisci’s Givenchy, regularly wearing custom-made suits to red carpet events, as well as being seen out and about and onstage in items from his various RTW collections. (The very popular Givenchy Shark Tee looks like a favourite.)
But the luxury doesn’t stop there. Ocean is also a huge fan of Dior Homme, having attended his first Grammys in 2013 wearing a navy bomber and pants designed by Belgian, Kris Van Assche of the French fashion house. Since then, he has been snapped at Paris Fashion Week in various Dior items. Other high end labels Frank is a fan of include YSL, Tom Ford, Raf Simons, and Margiela.
Frank also frequently gives shine to lesser known brands like the French trio, Sidian, Ersatz, & Vanes, and Australia’s Perks And Mini (PAM). Back in 2013, Ocean was frequently spotted in a S, E & V two tone button-up, making it a signature item in his wardrobe, prompting many to go out and cop one of their own. (Or a knock off.) Another recognisable Frank Ocean piece was the well known, rising sun bandana he wore during many of his early shows and TV performances. Through repetition paired with reinvention, Frank has built a distinct and distinguishable personal style.
They say that what we choose to clothe ourselves in when we are out in the world says a lot about who we are; whether consciously or involuntarily. What we can learn from Ocean’s music and now his style, is that he favours quality and subtlety, while also being unafraid to take risks. While he may not be setting any ground breaking fashion trends, the cleanness and classic aspect of his silhouette is widely emulated by men all over, which in my book, makes him an icon.
Here are some of my favourite Frank Ocean looks:
Drop the album Frank!