It’s been over a decade since hip-hop megastar Tyler the Creator burst onto the scene as the head honcho in Los Angeles rap group Odd Future. The band and movement around them was an incendiary whirlwind of smelly teen spirit, grungy, bass-driven beats and skatewear. Lots of skatewear.
But this was skatewear in 2007. Before Supreme and Palace took that step onto the top table of fashion. When high fashion silhouettes were all skinny waifs, not baggy sk8erbois.
Skatewear was still a bit rough around the edges, yet to be refined into the world-beater it is today. It’s been on an eerily similar trajectory to that of Tyler, who was slowly breaking into the mainstream before his latest album went crazy – his first to reach the top of the US charts.
At the same time, Tyler has become a style icon with not just his own look but his own brand to boot.
Tyler’s style has been pretty constant through the rise. He’s never been one to shy away from colour, and when it comes to pattern he’s as bold as they come.
Alongside his music career Tyler has carved out an imperious side hustle with his fashion brand Golf le Fleur, which has helped to further define his look. Recent collaborations with fashion heavyweights Vans and Lacoste have sold out immediately, showing the avalanche of public demand not just for Tyler’s music, but his style too.
His take on skatewear has lightened up in recent years – a little bit preppy, a little bit goofy – with pastel colours really coming to the fore (the whole Golf le Fleur colour palette is like an Italian ice cream shop).
In terms of actual garments, short shorts are a popular go-to, as are five-panel caps. A good tote bag, a bold rugby shirt and a pair of Converse or Vans doing the heavy lifting at the bottom all add to the mix for a playful, unique take on modern skatewear, that many have tried to match, but no one can really better.
Middle Finger Salute
The long sleeve polo top, or rugby shirt as it’s sometimes interchangeably called, was taken on by skaters in the ’90s due to its unrivalled comfort and relaxed fit.
Recent incarnations have gone beyond the simple stripes of its public school origins into more creative territories. We’re loving the colourful, paisley pop of Tyler’s here, well backed up with some simple, hardwearing chinos which finish things off perfectly.
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Swapping skatewear for surfwear, this is a perfect beach outfit from the acerbic rapper. Tyler’s favoured pastels are a great fit for the seaside, but you’ll want to break it up like he’s done with a clean white T-shirt in the middle.
If you don’t fancy a plain tee, go with a subtle graphic print like Tyler has done, which’ll give the look a more playful edge befitting of the colourful accents elsewhere.
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Igor A Brand New Coat
Tyler was never going to turn up to the red carpet in a dinner jacket. But what we do get is a dramatic one-two courtesy of a big, baby blue overcoat and a sweeping Louis Vuitton scarf.
It all works by utilising that classic white and blue colour combo and grounding it as Tyler often does with a pair of simple black trousers.
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Tyler The Golfer
The latter looks best without excess fabric spilling over your shoes so either buy a pair with a cropped hem or do as Tyler has and roll them up. Either way, a pair of white tube socks will finish off the look with a sportswear-inspired edge.
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Now That’s What I Call A Statement
There are strong tie-dye vibes in Tyler’s explosive printed shirt here. Tie-dye has always been a mainstay in skatewear fashion, but it’s enjoying a mainstream appraisal as of late too.
A tie-dye shirt, as opposed to the usual tee is still a distinctly casual look, so you’ll want to play it down as Mr. Creator has with a pair of simple shorts.