We just launched the latest issue of HIGHStyle, a Magazine by Highsnobiety, fronted by cover stars and best buds Matthew Williams and Playboi Carti. Styled by our own Corey Stokes, the feature had the pair discussing their bond while dressed in Williams-designed Givenchy. The clothes are Givenchy, but Playboi Carti’s unique take on punk style was still proudly on display.
Leather, metal, mesh, and blood-red are all sartorial tools employed by Carti on a regular basis, using his wardrobe to highlight the influence that these subcultures have had on his music, his live performances, and his overall outlook on life.
In one quote from the new mag, Carti puts that attitude into words. “If the world’s going right. I’m gonna go left,” he says. “If your cross is straight, then I’m gonna put my shit upside down. If you hate cigarettes, then I’m gonna smoke as many as I can. I’m anti-everything.”
The cover to his 2018 album “Die Lit” was an early signifier of this influence, likely a reference to an image of rock band GBH performing. Carti followed a similar line of homage-paying for last year’s long-awaited “Whole Lotta Red,” too, the artwork a direct reference to the covers of Slash Magazine, an LA punk publication from the 1970s.
During his rise to fame, Carti’s approach to punk style has taken several forms, from casual band tees to skin-tight leather. Whatever its form, there’s usually no notice taken of gendered dressing or what his peers are wearing. In honor of the visionary artist and modern style icon, we thought we’d take a look through the archives and pick out some of the best Playboi Carti style moments so far.
Scroll for some wild Playboi Carti style.
Leather Pants and Huge Boots
Built in a material synonymous with decades-old rock n’ roll dressing, leather pants of the extra-tight variety are a well-used wardrobe item by Carti. Big black boots and tight leather pants form the foundation of this black and white fit, one of few palettes that’ll work with hair in a hue like that. “Whole Lotta Red” had one of the most teased album releases in hip hop history and even this bold hair color choice was likely part of its marketing.
Band Tees and Big Shades
Now here’s a photo that shows how much Carti’s fits have evolved in a short period of time. Taken in January 2020 at Fall Festival, Australia, Carti keeps things fairly conservative with a pair of jeans and a band tee. The rock influence is still there, though, via some visible love for Black Sabbath. Oh, and those sunglasses are pretty wild, too.
Like leather, plaid and punk have a storied past. The punks of the 1970s, including members of The Clash and The Sex Pistols, were dressed in tartan and plain suits by Vivienne Westwood and re-purposed this once-worn-by-royalty pattern as a middle finger to the upper classes. Playboi Carti no doubt knows those connotations. Here the artist was snapped outside an Off-White™ show at Paris Fashion Week in a plaid trench by the brand, styled with some clout goggles made big by the likes of Carti and Lil Yachty at the time.
We 100 percent welcome mesh’s foray into menswear that’s happened over the past few years with new and increasingly unexpected brands like and Wander and Stüssy getting involved. Carti is a long-time supporter of the mesh vest, and in this image from our recent magazine shoot, he’s wearing one of Matthew William’s Givenchy pieces. You’ll get a similar vibe from the Dries tank top above. Waxed jeans are also a big spring look.
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