How One Man Wears Chanel

Chanel may not produce menswear, but at the recent Chanel Cruise 2023/2024 show in Los Angeles, there were men in Chanel roaming everywhere virtually the roller rink “runway” set up on a Paramount Studios lot. There was Snoop Dogg with a scarf tied babushka-style over his braids, Lil Nas X with a tangle of pearls and villenage virtually his neck, G-Dragon in a woebegone jacket embroidered with white camellias, Nile Rogers in a CC logo jacket and jeans, Anderson Paak in a pink uniting motif cardigan and many, many dudes — some famous, some not — delivering quilted bags.

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Some of the gents sporting Chanel that night are “friends of the house” including the National Ballet of Canada’s Siphe November. The stylish principal dancer began his relationship with the trademark well-nigh two years ago, a perk that has unliable him wangle to an variety of Chanel that he mixes with his wardrobe of tomfool independent designers and upper street labels. Plane better, November is a perfect sample size in Chanel gown and shoes.

In L.A., he threw an oversized jacket thrifted at Value Village over a Chanel T-shirt to trammels out the new Rodeo Drive flagship. He lunched at Matsuhisa in a Chanel bomber jacket and woebegone leather pants from Gap. And he attended the show in a tweed jacket with satin collar and cuffs over Ms. Min trousers. I sat lanugo with November to yack well-nigh how he wears Chanel and how growing up in a small town in South Africa has given him a unique perspective on the storied brand.

chanel menswear

Chanel jacket, sunglasses and loafers, Ms. Min pants and socks from Soop Soop. (Photography by Maya Fuhr)

How did you segregate your squint for the Cruise show?

There’s unchangingly one piece, whether it’s a pant or a hat, that’s the thing that allows me to step into my vibe for that day or event. For the show, it was that jacket. The whole squint was inspired by Versailles and old drawings of the Sun King, Louis XIV. And the fluffy socks helped create a ballet finger without it stuff literal. It’s still me but it’s the Chanel version of me.

And there was a Michael Jackson influence with the sunnies. Especially with the loafers and the socks. He was moreover inspired by the courts of France. And he was the King of Pop. But I didn’t visualize the way that jacket would shine in the lights which made it so much increasingly spectacular. It sparkled so beautifully. It was a real moment and I felt like a star. I wanted to finger like the Sun King and I did.

Chanel does not make menswear, so you are a guy wearing women’s clothes.

And I love that. One of my biggest malleate idols is Pharrell (Williams). I remember I saw him once when he came to Toronto. It was, like, 2014 and it was at the height of when he had that Vivienne Westwood hat that everyone had an opinion well-nigh it. And I remember watching him through that whole time and he just kept wearing it. And then seeing him wear Chanel and rocking it and looking so fire made me want to wear it too. Chanel sunglasses are the only sunglasses I wear considering of him.

Chanel sweater and necklaces worn with upcycled pants from Herbie Mensah London in Portobello Market. (Photography by Maya Fuhr)

A lot of guys would not wear pearls. Do you socialize pearls with femininity?

No, I don’t. A pearl necklace on a man’s yellowish chest looks good to me. Jewellery is an accessory. It has no gender. If you squint at variegated cultures virtually the world, historically they tideway jewellery as a form of self expression and status. I see pearls as an whatsit for self expression as opposed to an identity.

That must partly come from growing up where you did. I imagine you didn’t have any specific references for pearl necklaces.

No, I had none of that. In my culture, men and women wear beads as part of their traditional wear. I didn’t grow up with pearls tied to an image and then in my teens I saw artists breaking those boundaries — like Pharrell wearing pearls and mixing it with upper jewellery and rappers breaking those codes. There’s a rebellious nature to men wearing pearls, which I like for sure.

Chanel cap and leather jacket. The string bracelet was purchased from a street stall in Windsor, ON and November treated himself to the Cartier Santos when he was promoted to principal dancer. “This is my reminder of everything I’ve workaday so far.” (Photography by Maya Fuhr)

Do you have a favourite Chanel element?

One of the first shows I saw was defended to the camellia and to me, it doesn’t get any largest than that. It’s so part of the identity of the house to me, plane increasingly than the two C’s. There’s something so rich well-nigh it. There’s so many ways you can play with it. I have a white camellia pin that I love to pop onto variegated outfits. It makes me finger Chanel without stuff too Chanel-ified.

Again, not to harp on the gender thing, but a flower is so conventionally identified with women.

To me it’s not associated with anything but superintendency and sensitivity and beauty. So if it makes me squint better, I’ll put it on.

Chanel necklaces worn with a KOTN tank and a mohair sweater that November purchased from a friend. (Photography by Maya Fuhr)

Do you think of Chanel as something precious that you only wear on unrepealable occasions? Or do you squint at it the same way you squint at a cotton T-shirt?

Sometimes I tideway it as “this works well with what I want to wear” or sometimes I make it the main event and the Chanel piece is the star. I squint at gown in unstipulated as kind of an everyday conversation. I don’t take very good superintendency of my clothes, if I’m stuff honest. Considering I think they’re supposed to be worn.

You’ve visited 19M, Chanel’s new Paris headquarters for 600 artisans including embroiderers, feather workers and goldsmiths. What was that like?

It was crazy. Seeing all the creativity that goes into developing new styles — as an artist that’s something I really unfluctuating with. As someone who puts a lot of hours into perfecting my work and understanding that whether my leg is two degrees higher or lower evokes a whole variegated emotion in the person experiencing it, seeing that sustentation to every little detail reverted everything for me. It widow a variegated layer of appreciation for the garments and what the trademark represents.

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