Off The Rails - Aloe Blacc

Celebrities wardrobes exposed
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It was Aloe Blacc’s ‘I Need A Dollar’ that became the theme tune for a lot of our lives when the recession hit. His songs - beautiful, bluesy tones of anguish - struck a chord with many. His second album, ‘Good Things’, came out back in September 2010, mixing up soul, hip-hop, gospel and R&B, and we’ve been listening ever since. Clash met up with Blacc - real name Egbert Nathaniel Dawkins III - to see how his new slick sound pays tribute to his look - a far cry from the baggy pants he donned back in the day as an emcee...

“A lot of my style comes from the music that I’m doing now,” he says. “I love soul music, so I often look back at old videos of Marvin Gaye, The Temptations and Al Green. I also like what Jimi Hendrix and Fela Kuti used to wear.”

His stage outfits comprise a lot of velvet. “I love velvet,” he softly states in a smooth, Southern Calfornian drawl. He sits in a jacket by an Australian designer called Weave whom his wife, Maya Jupiter, introduced him to. It is a strikingly beautiful suit jacket for which he chose the fabric himself. “It has an understated, iridescent sheen to it; you can tell all the different colours in it when the light hits it in a specific way.”

A while back, Aloe started to collect scarves from every country that he visited to create an archive reminding him of his travels. “I had this idea where I would pick up something that was similar to a cravat or scarf in every country - Tokyo, Mexico… I couldn’t find anything in Russia. I’m hoping when I go to Moscow I will find something.”



“For my first run through Europe and the States,” he goes on, “I was very lucky to have some clothes from Via Davia Vintage, a wonderful stylist in Los Angeles who helped create my image. I‘ve been working with her about a year. When I released my first album I knew I wanted to present myself on stage in a way that communicated the music. She helped in a big way and has styled all the videos.”

“The music definitely influences the style,” Blacc concludes. “When people see me in a photo or online, if they can’t hear the music I want them to think of what the music sounds like, based on how I’m dressed, or at least think something positive about the way I’m dressed.”

Words by Camilla Felici
Photo by Letty Schmiterlow


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