Portugal. The Man Frontman John Gourley Explains Casual AMAs Outfits: 'We Have to Be Us'
Portugal. The Man may be dominating the charts with their single “Feel It Still,” but they’re not letting fame get to them -- and one of the ways they prove it is through their style. On Sunday night (Nov. 19), most of the band showed up to the 2017 AMAs red carpet in laid back jackets and sneakers. Though this doesn’t mean they didn’t look trendy, it was certainly more casual compared to other stars who made an appearance.
“As much as we love an excuse to dress up, the red carpet is not the place,” lead singer, John Gourley, exclusively told Billboard. “That’s our way of showing respect to the artists who worked for those Gucci suits. We aren’t trying to compete for best look. We’re here to play music and have a good time.”
Even when the spotlight was on them during the performance of their chart-topping hit, the group barely switched up their look and proceeded onto the stage with only a minor outfit change to more cool streetwear. “We have to be us,” Gourley added. “It’s watching ‘Welcome to Hell’ and seeing Ed Templeton in his high waters. We wanted to keep it real and relaxed. It’s stressful enough playing in front of Diana Ross.”
While it’s clear that they don’t like to draw attention to themselves, vintage shopping is the one thing that sets their wardrobe apart from other artists. Well, at least for Gourley.
“I’ve always been into thrifting,” he revealed. “I’m a fan of finding unique pieces and having them tailored or altered. Sure, there are more steps, but it can be more affordable than buying something new. To make things more unique, I also get stuff embroidered. On top of that, I keep an eye out for clean vintage glasses and have new lenses put in. It’s much cheaper than buying designer glasses. Just find what you like and customize.”
At the end of the day, to ensure they never change, Gourley confirmed there will always be a few brands from their hometowns that will never leave their closets. “We grew up in Alaska and will rep The North Face all day long,” he confessed. Being also from Portland, they’re supporters of eco-friendly brand, Older Brother. “They dye their clothes with beets, coffee, and turmeric,” the star said. “It’s great fits and an amazing name. You can’t go wrong with it. They’re one of the great secrets of Portland and I respect the hell out of their brand and attention to detail. It’s not too expensive either, it’s more about the fit and process.
If they had to commission a special look, Danish designer and musician Henrik Vibskov is at the top of the Gourley’s list. “He’s probably my favorite artist and designer out there,” the singer said. “I would love to work with him for an on-stage design and clothing for performances.”
Watch Portugal. The Man's "Feel It Still" performance on the AMAs below.