Harry Styles, Migos’ Take Off, and Pharrell are all fans of bright white eyewear.
Biggie’s Versace sunglasses, Michael Jordan’s Jordans, Paul Newman’s biker boots, Steve McQueen’s crew neck sweatshirt, and JFK’s gray suits are all icons in the menswear hall of fame and, as these things go, are knocked-off, “referenced” and mood board-ed by designers again and again. And right now, that’s what’s happening with Kurt Cobain’s white oval shades.
This weekend at Coachella, both Pharrell and Take Off of Migos performed in the white plastic shades. And Harry Styles, who is at the brink of releasing his first solo album, has been spotted wearing similar shades since last year. And up-and-coming rapper Playboi Carti has been known to favor Acne Studios’ ‘Mustang’ shades, a design that bears more than a passing resemblance to Cobain’s own.
In the 23 years since his death, the Nirvana frontman’s influence on men’s style and grooming nearly rivals that of his influence on music. The ’90s grunge icon is still inspiring the way men and women dress today, particularly right now when ’90s-era silhouettes and styles are turning up on the runways of Paris and in your local H&M.
Like Mick Jagger before him, Cobain borrowed from women’s fashion—his iconic shades were originally made for women. The oversized shape and glossy white frames made his signature shades look like something pulled from a 70s disco or a teenage girl’s backpack. For Cobain—who clearly didn’t GAF—they added a touch of dandy to the flannel shirts and ripped denim that came to signify the look of grunge music. And it was exactly that misalignment that made them so cool. While Cobain also wore the shades in red and blue, it’s the white ones that have resurfaced from high-end fashion houses like Chanel and Saint Laurent. They definitely take a shot of confidence to pull off, especially if like Pharrell (who is the new face of Chanel’s Gabrielle handbag) you opt to buy the women’s ones. But big style wins, often require a level of risk. Here are three pair to consider buying right now: