Music and Fashion: Harry Styles’ Double Life

While he was breaking girls’ hearts, former One Direction crooner Harry Styles was making the fashion world drool over his designer-heavy rock star look. Now he doubles as a singer-songwriter and fashion icon.  

After the split of One Direction, all eyes were on Harry Styles. He had a decision to make between two creative industries, fashion and music. Over the previous five years, Harry had earned more than 200 music awards with the band. It was no secret that he desired a solo career; he collaborated with numerous pop-stars on the down-low. So it seemed natural he would pursue music. However, the young celebrity had become well known for the bold choices in his closet. Harry frequently attended fashion shows, actively kept with the trends, and spent his free time with runway models and other fashion veterans. Styles carved a place for himself in fashion, and we tracked his movement here:

The band was formed in 2010, after Harry and the other four members struggled  to survive as solo artists. Five teenagers addicted to wearing baggy jeans and Jack Wills merchandise became one unit, and as their popularity took off, so did the boys’ fashion sense. By the year of their first tour, they had traded low-hanging jeans for skinny ones, and each adopted their own distinct aesthetic. Talk about a glow up.

Harry proved himself to be the most directional dresser, pun intended. As One Direction achieved international fame, his fashion style and status began to take off.

Harry made his fashion debut at the SS14 Burberry show. This was not the first time Styles had been seen near a runway, but it was the first time he displayed his knowledge and his influence. He got the coveted seat. Harry sat front row at the catwalk in his uniform: black skinny jeans, leopard print, and an English duster coat. He also spoke to bloggers outside the event about his support of the British brand and was featured on Burberry’s official Instagram in the picture below.

That same year, 2013, Harry attended the British Fashion Awards in a sleek, black ensemble: ankle boots, skinny jeans, a button up, and a patterned scarf. Alexa Chung, the the three-time winner and reigning recipient, presented Styles with the British Style Award. The fashion world was starting to pay attention to young Mr. Styles.

After his win, Harry was spotted spending his time with some high-profile fashionistas. While he attended a star-studded benefit, Styles sat next to supermodel and fashion designer Kate Moss. They caused some commotion with a goodbye kiss that evening. Then, only a year after his win, Harry returned to the BFAs and presented the British Style Award to Emma Watson in a red and black pinstripe Lanvin ensemble. On the staircase outside the award room, Harry reunited with two former flames, both supermodels and fashion influencers, Kendall Jenner and Cara Delevigne. Those are some pretty good connections to have. 

Towards the end of One Direction’s run, Harry started to experiment with his wardrobe. He began to sport designer wear on the streets as well as the red carpets. His most memorable fashion moments occurred only months apart, near the dissolvement of the band. The first was his AMAs outfit, an all white floral Gucci suit, made extra contentious with flared pant legs. The singer pulled them off proudly. Second was another Gucci ensemble; Harry wore a bold red suit with a tropical floral pattern to his last performance with 1D on the X Factor. Where it all began. The nostalgia of his last song mixed with the controversy of his rock star outfit prompted the question: music or fashion?

Spoiler alert: He chose both. Harry pursued both fashion and music, and he currently makes it look so easy. Due to his release of Sign of the Times and the self-titled solo album that followed, more doors opened for him in fashion. Harry’s gender-fluid, daring style allows him to perform AND be a blank canvas for designers to display their work. Anything he wears is memorable, and his celebrity capital is only increasing. Harry’s fashion-forward vocal career is only paralleled by stars David Bowie and Prince, making him a fashion icon.

Here are some of Style’s most iconic, ahem, styles.

Plunging necklines:

Bold Shirts:

Statement Suits:

Flared Trousers:

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Beth Schaller is a Social Media/Marketing Intern and Copywriter for AKIRA. She would describe her style as casual-edgy California mixed with New York street style. Beth’s creativity and passion for fashion bleeds into every project she engages in, including her pursuit of an English degree at The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Outside of her time with AKIRA, Beth watches a considerable amount of crime shows and horror films. Her favorite quote is “Stay sexy. Don’t get murdered.” Watch her try and achieve the perfect Instagram aesthetic @bethslaundry, and visit her personal blog of the same name.


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