Kid Cudi and The Idea of Genderless

Musical artist Kid Cudi is known for always going against the grain. His music style is nonlinear within the current state of rap. He often bends between singing, rapping, and even humming. So it’s no wonder that his personal style matches. Instead of succumbing to heteronormative ideas of clothing, he opts for something greater.

Kid Cudi’s Floral Debut

Cudi made headlines when he appeared on Saturday Night Live as the musical guest. He donned a Kurt Cobain-inspired dress. The gown was a spaghetti-strapped, floral number. The bodice was also very fitted, giving the dress more of a fit-and-flair appearance. In contrast, Cobain’s dress was more flowy and carefree. Off-White designer Virgil Abloh wanted that difference in silhouette. But many questioned the outfit for Cudi, noting his broad shoulders and flatter chest. According to GQ Magazine, Abloh said “the dress fits the way it does precisely on purpose. It doesn’t cop out at the very end and get loose at the top so it looks more safe.”

Kid Cudi wore a dress on 'SNL' in a tribute to Kurt Cobain
(Courtesy of NBC News)

An Upcoming Collection

Kid Cudi / Virgil Abloh
(Courtesy of Revolt TV)

The pair are no stranger to one another, either. The two have a 10-year relationship and even worked together on a collection last year. It celebrated Cudi’s single, “Leader of the Delinquents”. But the main clothing was a t-shirt. So, what changed in the last year? Abloh said, “Gender norms and racial freedoms are amongst the most important things in society that need to be updated. As a fashion designer, moments like this let me know that there is space for intellect and risk for the sake of expanding space.” Following his SNL performance, Cudi announced an upcoming Off-White collection, filled with genderless clothing like his dress.

But the announcement received mixed reviews. Some were excited to see another man encouraging universal clothing. Rapper Young Thug famously wore a dress for his album cover in 2016. Harry Styles often rocks skirts and feathered boas. But others questioned its practicality. Clothing isn’t gendered, people assign an identity to it. So, why market the collection this way? Cudi could be utilizing modern language to simply describe his clothes. Similarly, Justin Bieber released the unisex clothing brand “Drew”. But, Bieber’s clothing is mostly t-shirts, sweatpants, and hoodies. So, many hope Cudi brings fun fashions like this dress and similar styles. The new collection is set to release this summer.

The cover photo courtesy is from GQ Magazine

About author


Brianna Ormond is a senior at Rutgers University as a Journalism and Media Studies major, Political Science and Africana Studies double minor. She enjoys listening to music and binging Netflix in her spare time.
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