At some point in the past year, Wiz Khalifa has improbably emerged as one of fashion’s leading men. At the Met Gala, he wore a pristine, all-white Rag & Bone suit, and was praised on best dressed lists along with Kanye West and Jaden Smith. His uniform of party shirts and cool pants is not a dramatic left turn from the tees and khakis he wore earlier in his career, but it's helped make a name for Wiz outside of music.
"I knew it wouldn't be overnight that he’d start to get noticed but I knew that it would happen," stylist Lauren Matos, who began working with Wiz in 2015, told The FADER. Over the phone from Los Angeles, Matos explained how she created a new look for Khalifa, and why it's resonated.
LAUREN MATOS: Wiz wants to express his personality in what he’s trying to say, and in what he’s wearing. He knows he’s pretty. He doesn’t want to take away from being a beautiful man with some crazy clothes.
[When we started working together], I guess Wiz wanted to make his style a little more serious. Just to hone in and develop something that was solid and would be looked at differently. I came in and did my thing — simplifying his look and getting away from the kitchy, childish vibe that he was doing for quite some time. It was not about taking away, and not about trying to make him something that he wasn’t. I wanted to keep it very him, but in a simplistic way.
[His style] is laidback and easy, but still fun. I don’t want to sound corny trying to come up with some words. It’s not hard, it just flows and everybody’s happy. I think it’s really just Wiz. Nice, skinny fitting jeans. He wears cool jeans. Pulled back suiting. A party shirt — I’m always on the search for a party shirt because he’s still super young and he’s out there partying. If he’s performing, wearing just jeans with no T-shirt on, it’s easy for him to go throw on a shirt and go out. It looks good with his tattoos and his hair. He’s a classic, simplified Lenny Kravitz or something.
He looks like a supermodel to me. He’s the perfect stature. He wears Saint Laurent really well because he’s so tall. The jeans are made for super tall Parisian men, but I don’t have to tailor anything. Those are the jeans that he wears unless I have jeans designed and made for him myself, which I do for tour.
I have a good eye for things that I think will look good on him. He’s a really good sport. He trusts me enough to know that I wouldn’t put him in anything crazy to make him look bad. He’s super open to any idea. And sometimes he’ll throw out an idea, like, “For this, I was thinking of wearing a baggier pair of pants. Or a pair of pants that don’t have holes at them.” And I go to work it out.
I look at outfits and clothing as like, people. Like, “Would this shirt hang out with this shirt? Would this suit hang with these suit? Would this guy be friends with this guy?” That’s what we’ve done. All the clothes that he’s been wearing, even if they’re different, it’s all the same guy that would wear them all together.