Picture Supply: Getty Photographs For Louis Vuitton/Pascal Le Segretain
Earlier than gender fluid style turned extra socially acceptable within the US, celebrities like David Bowie, Dennis Rodman, Prince, and Billy Porter had been confidently and unapologetically sporting androgynous types. However exterior of Juan Gabriel, we by no means actually had a Latino icon that normalized this inside our communities. However artists like Dangerous Bunny, Maluma, and J Balvin have actually been doing their half to vary that. Actually, relating to style, reggaetonero J Balvin has confirmed he is not afraid of breaking the gender-restricting guidelines which might be usually positioned on males — Latino males particularly. The Colombian singer and rapper is all the time pushing the boundaries, however the reality is he is simply getting began.
In the event you’ve been being attentive to Balvin’s style evolution through the years then really you’ve got peeped that he is not afraid of turning heads. And whereas he would not take into account himself one, the Colombian artist has clearly confirmed himself to be a method icon. He is an artist in each sense of the phrase. It is all about expression for him, whether or not he is doing it by means of his music or by means of the appears to be like he chooses to put on. Style in some ways is simply one other artistic outlet for Balvin to precise his temper and what he is feeling for the time being.
Eventually yr’s Met Gala, Balvin confirmed up carrying a customized Ralph Lauren Label tailcoat tuxedo with a white bow tie and accessorized with an RL867 metal watch, vintage pins, onyx stud cufflinks, and a black cane. It was a glance. However the yr earlier than that, he attended the Met Gala in a formidable Moschino design that featured flowers in a wide selection of vibrant colours, accessorizing with an identical face cowl and layers of diamond necklaces. The look positively gave off comparable vibes to his album “Colores,” and proved how unpredictable Balvin’s fashion actually is.
Picture Supply: Getty Photographs/Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic
Picture Supply: Getty Photographs/Arturo Holmes/MG21
“Some days, I will put on colour, and a few days, I am in all black. And that is the way in which I really feel,” Balvin tells POPSUGAR. In terms of fashion, the sky is the restrict for Balvin. There’s nothing he will not attempt. The identical method he’ll sport road fashion put on, he’ll simply as simply rock a vibrant pink fake fur coat as he did for the duvet of Flaunt journal or the all-black puffer skirt he was seen in on the Louis Vuitton Fall 2022 present earlier this yr. For Balvin, style is not so confined to gender. He has actually made a degree to reject gender stereotypes in his fashion, and it is having a a lot larger impression than he in all probability imagined. In a music style that was traditionally recognized to be rooted in machismo, the look of reggaeton has actually developed through the years. We have seen Dangerous Bunny dismissing conventional gender norms by means of his fashion and has even expressed how he prefers skirts to pants. At this yr’s Met Gala, Dangerous Bunny appeared in a cream-colored boilersuit by Riccardo Tisci for Burberry together with his hair styled in a mini bouffant with bejeweled hair equipment. Different reggaetoneros have slowly been embracing extra gender-fluid types as nicely. In simply the previous few years we have seen artists like Farruko and Lennox exhibiting off polished nails and acrylic suggestions.
Picture Supply: Getty Photographs For Louis Vuitton/Pascal Le Segretain
“I am not terrified of carrying something. So long as I really feel comfy with it.”
“I am not terrified of carrying something. So long as I really feel comfy with it,” Balvin says. “If it is a mini skirt, I do not care I’ll put on it. If I see a cool bra and I feel the bra would look good on me — I will put on it. Nevertheless it needs to be genuine to how I really feel. I cannot really feel like I am in a fancy dress. I cannot really feel like I am not being me. I feel an important factor is that you must keep true to your self. And that is how folks begin respecting you as a result of they begin attending to know that you simply’re actual relating to the way you categorical your self.”
It is that confidence, that apologetic angle, and that self-respect that artists like Balvin possess that makes it that a lot simpler for people all over the place to be freer in what they select to put on. After we have a look at artists who traditionally wore what they wished and weren’t dressing to please anybody — followers, critics, the media, even their industries themselves — there is a sample. Once they confidently do what they need, society finally catches up. There’s nothing extra inspiring than somebody who is not afraid to shake issues up and dismantle outdated methods of pondering. Even when a person is not excited about carrying a skirt or portray their nails, it is onerous to not respect one other man who’s assured sufficient to try this in a world that actually tries to slender down what it means to be a person.
By way of why it is taken Latino males so lengthy to interrupt out of those machismo-driven gender roles, Balvin believes it is as a result of we did not see sufficient Latino stars problem these societal norms earlier than. “I feel it is that nobody tried earlier than. You already know generally folks say I am not going to cross that door as a result of it is perhaps closed. I am not going to cross that door as a result of I am unsure however they did not even attempt. So, it is higher to remorse a what if? I used to be like I’ll dye my hair as a result of I like this colour. And I am not saying that I am the one who began it. As a result of if we return we bought Dennis Rodman and now we have Pharrell Williams, after all. However I am speaking about within the Latino market,” he says. “I feel in the entire historical past it was Juan Gabriel. [He was] the one one who was like that is me and what? However we did not have these icons. I do not take into account myself an icon however that particular person you see from 20 miles away — that is J Balvin. I did not see it earlier than within the Latin trade, so I used to be like why do not now we have this? And that is how I began studying about style and touring around the globe. Going to Japan and going to Paris. Being in Italy. Being in New York. You already know New York is my greatest inspiration. Being in Medellín as a result of there’s a whole lot of style there. That is how I began constructing the way in which I gown. It is actually cool as a result of now now we have house within the style world. Huge manufacturers speak to us.”
And people huge manufacturers go method past excessive style ones. Actually, Balvin lately partnered with Miller Lite to launch his Bodegawear clothes line, which options all the pieces from varsity jackets, graphic tees, hoodies, and equipment with vibrant art work. However Balvin’s mission behind the collab goes method past some cool style items. His intention is to offer again. So with every buy of the road, Miller Lite might be donating proceeds of its gross sales to Accion Alternative Fund, in an effort to assist bodegas, nook shops, and Latinx-owned companies.
“All of the [revenue] from this collab goes to Accion Alternative Fund, Balvin provides. “We’re going to assist all of the bodegas and nook shops and Latinos too. That is actually vital as a result of that is how we contact lives and the way we assist folks. That is an important factor about this. It is nice that we’re working with Miller Lite. It is nice that we’re doing our factor. Nevertheless it’s nice that we’re doing one thing for the group.”
Picture Supply: Ben Rayner for Miller Lite
Balvin has actually made an effort to attach together with his followers and his group on a human degree. He is not solely been open and weak about his psychological well being however he is additionally been doing his half to normalize conversations round psychological well being, particularly inside the Latinx group. After years of sharing his personal journey with anxiousness and despair, Balvin launched OYE, a brand new bilingual psychological well being app, which is ready to launch in September 2022. He is additionally collaborating with NBC Information Studios, on a six-part docuseries titled “Gente Sana,” the place he’ll sit with a special superstar each episode to debate their very own psychological well being journey, challenges, and coping mechanisms.
Exterior of his artistry, Balvin needs folks to know that he is only a one who needs to make a distinction on this world — even when which means empowering others to step out of the field in small methods. “Sure, music is an important factor as a result of [as music artists] that is our superpower however by means of that, we are able to contact folks,” he says.” Actually contact folks in a method that is going to make them contact others’ lives. I wish to create a legacy. Music is an important however I wish to additionally assist the brand new era — the brand new youngsters.”