Yesterday, The Guardian boldly claimed that Pharrell Williams was no longer a style icon, and that he'd ceded that title to... Drake (???). Apparently, Pharrell "announced his retirement from cool" when he performed at Glastonbury 2015 in his adidas collaboration, because, according to The Guardian, "the onstage branding felt like a deeply lame move by anyone's standards." To which we say: Um, what?>
The Guardian claims that Drake (and all his swollness) is the only one able to fill that gap in the "alt fashion stars of hip-hop." There's no mention of guys like Kanye West nor A$AP Rocky, who have undoubtedly proven their fashion cred much more than Aubrey Graham.
Drake is a great rapper, some would even say a hip-hop legend. He sells records; his songs are certified bangers. PEOPLE USE HIS LYRICS FOR "INSPIRATIONAL" CAPTIONS. But a style icon? Not so much. Why would a guy who calls out other rappers for being too mixed up with fashion aspire to be part of that world himself? Even in the song "Club Paradise," Drake raps: "No wonder why I feel awkward at this fashion week shit."
So, let's breakdown how The Guardian came to this conclusion:
1. Drake can adhere to Wimbledon's dress code (he wore white to the event!), and rocks "low-key" sportswear fits and chains.
2. He's a fan of Craig Green—a "relatively unknown" British designer who hasn't been able to cross over into the States and the Six.
3. His remix of Migos' "Versace" was played at a Versace runway show.
4. He has an OVO clothing line. The T-shirts feature hand-scrawled slogans. OVO's logo is an owl; Dolce & Gabbana also used an owl in its Spring/Summer 2015 collection.
5. He beat the hypebeasts and copped the Supreme x Stone Island collaboration.
6. He co-signed normcore before it was a thing.
7. He wears color.
8. Unlike Pharrell, he's not a walking billboard for his own merch.
If you've followed Drake's style evolution over the years, it's pretty clear that he's made some progress. There was a dark time when he wore what might've been bootcut jeans (if they weren't, they may as well have been). And smedium v-neck sweatshirts. But remember: He's not that Drake from four years ago.
Drake is finally dressing like he's figured out (or figuring out) his personal style. He doesn't always get it right, but there is some consistency there. But perhaps what's most likeable about his look is that it's relatable. Anyone can throw on a hoodie, jeans, and Timberland boots. Anyone can rock OVO-branded sweats or a tee. Anyone can wear chains. Still, none of these facts equate to him being a "style icon."
Style icons are people we look up to as the ultimate gods of getting dressed. The Guardian claims that Drake is on par with Pharrell, Kanye West, and A$AP Rocky? Or Cam'ron, who made dudes wear pink? Or Biggie who popularized Coogi and Versace? Or—beyond hip-hop—Marlon Brando and Steve McQueen, both of whom were the epitome of what a style icon was during their time? Or Kurt Cobain, the King of Grunge Style/most influential style icon of a generation?
Drake simply hasn't had the same impact on style as any of those guys. It's not enough that Versace played a song named after the Italian fashion house at one of its runway shows. Or that Italo Zucchelli has made him custom Calvin Klein Collection tour gear. Or that Drake's the 5684893th rapper to have his own clothing line. Or that he wore a British designer in London that one time. Or that he wears color.
Love you, Drake. But, nah. You may be winning the rap game, but you're only just beginning to play the fashion one.