FASHION SPOTLIGHT: ERYKAH BADU "JOY IN DRESSING YOURSELF" INSTYLE MAGAZINE NOVEMBER 2019
Photographed by Ruth Ossai. Styled by Andrew Mukamal. Art direction by Erykah Badu. Hair: Chuck Amos for Jump Management. Hair: Yasmin Amira Davis. Makeup: Frankie Boyd for Streeters. Manicure: Yuko Wada for Atelier Management. Set design: Danielle Selig for The Magnet Agency.
Brief Excerpt from cover story by: Sarah Cristobal
Rule No. 1 of interviewing Erykah Badu on the topic of fashion: Do not be so simple as to presume that her eclectic and expansive wardrobe can be contained in a single closet. “Oh, do you mean my closets?” she responds when asked about where she stores her things. “My closets look like full rooms. I am a collector, after all.” She goes on to tell me that she hasn’t gotten rid of one piece of clothing since the mid-’90s, when she appeared, miragelike, on the music scene as a soul goddess in colorful head wraps and slinky dresses. Her vast collection resides in her home city of Dallas, where she has lived for most of her 48 years. There she has “two big dressing rooms.” Pause. “And a few small closets … and storage.” Pause. “And my grandmother’s house — she doesn’t really need all that space.”
Anyone who has watched Badu’s iconic music videos or seen her perform (she still tours eight months out of the year) knows that fashion isn’t the only thing she collects. A creative polymath, she has a voracious appetite for all forms of art and culture. She’s a singer, a songwriter, a producer, a mama, an actor. She’s also a doula for those who are coming into the world and for those who are leaving it. Badu says she doesn’t get much rest with this line of work and always feels slightly delirious. She has helped deliver around 35 babies, and the last one was coaxed out only after she gave the mother a special brew of tea, banged on a gong, and played hard-core hip-hop. “Babies like Wu-Tang,” she deadpans.
Badu in a Balmain poncho; Palm Angels pants; and Dior earrings. From Badu’s collection: a House of Flora with Neil Moodie headpiece; a Custom choker by Chris Habana; a Chris Habana pearl handlet; Angostura rings and finger casts; studs, watches, and bracelets; and Off-White c/o Virgil Abloh boots.
Badu in a Valentino cape and a Raf Simons coat, pants, gloves, and bag. From Badu’s collection: Jessica Pass hair pieces, mouthpiece, and ring and Maison Margiela tabi boots.
Badu in a Rick Owens blazer, T-shirt, and pants and a Jo Miller hat. From Badu’s collection: a L’Enchanteur hair clip; Parts of Four talismans (crystals), bracelets, and rings; amulets and talismans; and Micol Ragni boots.
Badu in a Maison Margiela trenchcoat; a Gucci jacket; a Christian Cowan wig cap; and Gucci cuffs. From Badu’s collection: L’Enchanteur hair clips; Angostura rings and finger casts; Into Into nail rings; and watches and bracelets.
Badu in a Nicole McLaughlin vest; Givenchy jacket and trousers; and an Off-White c/o Virgil Abloh dress. From Badu’s collection: a Gunner Foxx hat; a L’Enchanteur headpiece; Angostura rings and finger casts; Into Into nail rings; a shirt, watches, and bracelets; and Robert Wun boots.