Last week, Lenny Kravitz made a surprising announcement to CNN. The guitarist, Officer of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, and featured actor in the film adaptation of “The Hunger Games,” is set to expand his interior and product design firm, Kravitz Design, beyond buildings and into the world of fashion.
“The plan is to make it a lifestyle brand,” he said. “In the same way you would see Ralph Lauren or Giorgio Armani.”
Kravitz’s eco-resort, on his farm in Brazil, will factor in somehow, but apart from that it’s hard to imagine what a Lenny Kravitz fashion line might look like. He played Katniss’s stylist Cinna last year, but his look has always been more standard rocker-chic than that character’s flamboyant fashionista. He hasn’t changed up his outfits too much over the course of his career — leather, long scarves, silver rings, bracelets, and a lot of denim.
Perhaps it’s the dedication to the standard rock look that’s plagued other musician-helmed collections in the past, and there have been a lot of them.
Oasis front man Liam Gallagher has his Pretty Green line, which has expanded to denim footwear and accessories. It looks like, well, clothes a rock star would wear. “The Beatles, the Stones, the Kinks, the Small Faces – all that era. 1967 to 1969 bands,” Gallagher told Rolling Stone, when they asked for his influences.
Scott Weiland, the singer of ’90s mainstay Stone Temple Pilots, designed a small line for English Laundry that fares slightly better, if only in its modesty. But the shirts are cut in like Jimi Hendrix’s, and there is a lot of paisley. “From early on, I was inspired by rock icons like David Bowie and Keith Richards, who helped in molding my personal sense of style,” he said.
On the opposite end of all this is Kim Gordon, bassist for Sonic Youth. In 1992 she and Daisy Von Furth started X-Girl, a women’s wear answer to the men’s line the Beastie Boys had designed for X-Large. It combined the street-style of a 17-year-old skate rat and Sassy intern named Chloe Sevigny with the sensibilities of the young designer behind Perry Ellis – a kid named Marc Jacobs. Gordon and Sonic Youth have remained entrenched within the inner circle of fashion for decades now, and this year she’s designing a capsule collection for Surface to Air. It’s set to feature “cropped neon-tangerine pants, black, brown, and snakeskin boots, a soft leather jacket, and T-shirts printed with Gordon’s own illustrations,” T reports. It will certainly be a lot more legitimate than the lines by her guitar-wielding peers.
So which side will Kravitz fall on? He does have nearly a decade of experience with his design firm, and his convincing take on Cinna the stylist is encouraging. But his best move might be to look to his daughter, Zoe Kravitz, who’s often the best-dressed person on the red carpet.
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