The world lost another great musician with the announcement that music legend Prince died at his home in Minneapolis at the age of 57.
Almost immediately, celebrities, musicians and fans began offering their memories of Prince on social media. But while many of those memories have been devoted to his music, his style was just as eclectic and iconic.
For 40 years, fans watched Prince’s style morph from one fashion phase to another. He was a shape shifter and trendsetter who communicated as much through his clothing (or lack of it) as he did in song.
Prince was a 19-year-old hitting the streets of Minneapolis in denim bell bottoms, denim jackets and a fluffy afro when his first solo album “For You” debuted in 1978. A year later, he would blow out his fro’ and strip down to his bare chest just in time for his breakout second album.
This was a man who was comfortable in various states of undress — including totally undressed. And as we later learned, he was as much at ease wearing skin-tight pants and sky-high boots as he had been in head-to-toe denim. And he could rock a cat eye better than Adele. We can’t ever be sure how Prince got away with rocking crop tops and hip huggers, but he did. And no one asked questions.
Not only was Prince making his mark on the music industry, he was going to make a pretty big style statement while he did it.
He definitely had a thing for studs. Jackets with studs on the right shoulder were a Prince trademark through the Purple Rain years when he began wearing a slightly longer, purple version of the style he first debuted in 1980.
If he wasn’t naked up top, Prince was often wearing shirts with Victorian era collars and wide sleeves. Sometimes they were buttoned all the way. More often, they were unbuttoned to reveal his chest. When he wore suits, they were anything but standard. Royal blue, orange, pink, and yes, purple.
With a single album, Prince became the undisputed owner of the color purple, but he never lost his sexy edge.
His music was sexy. His style was sexy. Even his guitar was a sex symbol. And it was all by his design.