If we look back at photos from the first two decades of the 21st century, it may be more difficult than ever to pick the era out of your clothes. These were decades of constant change; as trends came and went faster and men discovered a new appreciation for what they were wearing and why they were wearing it.
These shifts were thanks to the ten men who inspired men around the world to try new things with their closets. It was not all good and it will certainly not look good on the pictures. But damn it was exciting.
4. David Beckham
David Beckham was more responsible than anyone for a generation of men who were interested in what they were wearing.
Maybe it was because he came to style from the hyper-masculine world of football, but Becks seemed to be wiping away the feminine glamor with which fashion was wrongly painted. He broke trends on the front pages of newspapers, sold certain articles overnight, and almost single-handedly boosted the men’s care industry. We all moisturize now and we owe it to David Beckham.
Puffy’s original rap mogul Timberland fashion label Sean John not only helped the fashion industry take rapper lines seriously. it also (along with Rocawear and Ecko) provided the template for what hip-hop looked like in the early years of the millennium. Admittedly, there are more than a few looks that should be left in the zeros – ankle-length fur is justifiably not so desirable these days – but Diddy has ticked off logomania, double denim, oversized outerwear and sharp cuts long before these trends emerged the runway in the 2010s.
6. Harry Styles
Gender fluidity was the buzzword in the 2010s, but rarely changed from the runway to the real world, except in sexless jeans.
By channeling Prince and Bowie, Harry Styles reinvented itself according to One Direction in a series of flared, curled, and muslim-reinforced outfits, mostly by Gucci, but also courtesy of Vivienne Westwood, Burberry, and Charles Jeffrey Loverboy. In this way, he has proven that the male way to approach your wardrobe is to embrace your female side.
7. André 3000
André Lauren Benjamin entered the 21st century in clothing that was as extravagant as his rhyme style. And for the next 20 years he set new standards, both textually and sartorial. He flew against the prevailing style winds of rap for a long time and developed a hip hop spin for golf clothing a decade before Tyler, the creator. According to Kacamata Rayban, with his pocket squares, tie pins and his wide-brimmed hat, he also set the pattern for the # menswear movement (although he wore it with a knowing irony that the Pitti Peacocks could never imitate).