Music's Men of Style: Wiz Khalifa on Being a Streetwear Savant -- and Not Going Out of His Way to Look Crazy

Amanda Friedman
Wiz Khalifa photographed by Amanda Friedman on Aug. 6, 2015 at the Kumi Japanese Restaurant at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. 

With his trademark dreads, full-body tattoos, extra-skinny jeans and ever-present cloud of kush smoke, hip-hop artist-rapper Wiz Khalifa sees his colorful personal style as an extension of his creative output. "I want to be setting trends and doing things that people don't expect," says the 27-year-old, born Cameron Jibril Thomaz.

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Khalifa, whose "See You Again" collaboration with Charlie Puth tied for the longest-leading rap No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 after a 12-week reign, credits his ­nontraditional ­fashion approach to a polyglot ­cultural upbringing. His parents were both in the military and moved ­frequently before settling in Pittsburgh. "I lived in Japan when I was 13. I hung out with the Filipino kids and they wore wide-leg JNCO jeans and dyed their hair. Then, when I lived in Oklahoma during middle school, I was around a lot of Mexicans and skaters -- that's where the Americana style came from, the Dickies and the Levi's and the Chucks or Vans. Traveling definitely opened my mind. It put me in different groups of people where I was able to blend in."

 

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A Look For Every Hour

"When you take your clothing serious, you have different looks throughout the day. Nobody wants to be lying around in the same clothes all day. It's not about ­competing or putting on the ­tightest shit or the best shit; it's about ­matching your moods throughout the day."

Loves To Collect

"Levi's jeans."

One Direction, Britney Spears, Wiz Khalifa Clean Up at 2015 Teen Choice Awards

Why Fashion Matters

"It gives people a sense of who you are as a person; fashion is part of your expression. A lot of the time it might look like I'm going out of my way or being crazy, but really, I sometimes wake up with a vision of what I want to wear, and I'll do whatever I have to do to achieve that. I want to be as comfortable as possible, and also wear brands that I enjoy."

Listen to music from Wiz Khalifa, and the other artists in this issue, in the Spotify playlist below: