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In gender-fluid fashion, Harry Styles dazzles as Vogue’s very first solo male cover

By Brooke Villanueva Published Nov 14, 2020 3:00 am

All eyes on Harry Styles!

Without a doubt, the hit singer looked irresistible in gender-fluid ensembles as Vogue’s first ever solo male cover star.

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For its December issue, styled by Camilla Nickerson and photographed by Tyler Mitchell, Styles talked about his love for playing dress-up. His fashion sense has evolved so much and he said it’s all thanks to young stylist Harry Lambert, whom he met seven years ago. “He just has fun with clothing, and that’s kind of where I’ve got it from,” he told Vogue. “He doesn’t take it too seriously, which means I don’t take it too seriously.” 

His current philosophy? One can never be overdressed. “There’s no such thing. The people that I looked up to in music—Prince and David Bowie and Elvis and Freddie Mercury and Elton John—they’re such showmen,” he said.

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Admittedly, he used to find that crazy when he was younger. Now, not so much.

“I think if you get something that you feel amazing in, it’s like a superhero outfit,” he continued. After all, fashion is about mixing and matching one’s wardrobe, he said—and the fact that gender barriers are being eliminated little by little makes him feel exhilarated. “I’ll go in shops sometimes, and I just find myself looking at the women’s clothes thinking they’re amazing. It’s like anything—anytime you’re putting barriers up in your own life, you’re just limiting yourself." 

“There’s so much joy to be had in playing with clothes. I’ve never really thought too much about what it means—it just becomes this extended part of creating something,” he declared.

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Harry Styles has long been known for his boundary-breaking style. In an interview with The Guardian last year, he clarified: “Am I sprinkling in nuggets of sexual ambiguity to try and be more interesting? No.”

He explained, “In terms of how I wanna dress, and what the album sleeve’s gonna be, I tend to make decisions in terms of collaborators I want to work with. I want things to look a certain way. Not because it makes me look gay, or it makes me look straight, or it makes me look bisexual, but because I think it looks cool. And more than that, I dunno, I just think sexuality’s something that’s fun. Honestly? I can’t say I’ve given it any more thought than that.”

This is the first time in Vogue’s 127-year history that a solo male has landed on the magazine cover. Before Styles, only nine men have fronted it, but alongside a woman.

According to a 2019 report by The Fashionisto, such include Richard Gere (with Cindy Crawford in 1992), George Clooney (with Gisele Bundchen in 2000), Lebron James (with Gisele Bundchen in 2008), Ryan Lochte (with Hope Solo and Serena Williams in 2012), Kanye West (with Kim Kardashian in 2014), Ben Stiller (with Penelope Cruz in 2016), Ashton Eaton (with Gigi Hadid in 2016), Zayn Malik (with Gigi Hadid in 2017), and Justin Bieber (with Hailey Baldwin in 2019).

Article thumbnails by Tyler Mitchell via