Jaden Smith marks history on the August 2016 cover of Nylon as the magazine’s first solo male cover star, and he’s modeling a range of gender nonconforming fashions, including his favorite — the skirt, in an editorial spread inside.
For years Smith has been praised among industry influencers for embracing a fashion sense that doesn’t recognize gender.
His casual yet bold style has led him out into the world wearing everything from skirts and oversized sweaters to full Iron Man character costume.
Smith spoke with Nylon about his unique fashion sense and how he’s unintentionally trailblazing a path for other androgynous fashionistas.
“You just have to believe in yourself, you know,” he said when asked what advice he’d give to anyone struggling with low self-esteem or bullying.
“The world is going to keep bashing me for whatever I do, and I’m going to keep not caring. I’m going to keep doing the same things—I’m going to keep doing more things. I’m going to take most of the blows for my fellow MSFTS. So, you know, in five years when a kid goes to school wearing a skirt, he won’t get beat up and kids won’t get mad at him. It just doesn’t matter. I’m taking the brunt of it so that later on, my kids and the next generations of kids will all think that certain things are normal that weren’t expected before my time.”
Smith also talked about his much-discussed appearance in a Louis Vuitton womenswear campaign this year, where he sported a dress alongside three female models.
“He represents a generation that has assimilated the codes of true freedom, one that is free of manifestos and questions about gender,” Louis Vuitton creative director Nicolas Ghesquière said at the time.
“Wearing a skirt comes as naturally to him as it would to a woman who, long ago, granted herself permission to wear a man’s trench or a tuxedo. Jaden Smith conveys something very interesting about the integration of a global wardrobe. He’s found an instinctive balance that makes his extraordinary attitude a new norm. That really inspired me in the creative process for this collection.”
Said Jaden: “It was lit because we all knew that we were going to impact the culture and change the game and make a difference.”
Check out the full Nylon feature here.