Thrifted Jerseys and Males’s Denims: How SZA’s Stylist Clothes the Star
5 years after releasing her smash debut album, CTRL, SZA launched her lauded sophomore effort SOS late final 12 months and is presently on a sold-out tour. The singer-songwriter’s prowess undoubtedly lies in her songwriting. Who else could make the lyric “I simply killed my ex…. Reasonably be alone than sad” appear each poignant and poised to go viral on TikTok? However the star can be delivering creative messages through her clothes. The singer has sometimes leaned into daring high-fashion this promo cycle, together with carrying an ethereal Iris Van Herpen design for Time journal and a high-slit Oliver Theyskens spring 2023 patchwork gown for the Billboard Girls in Music Awards. After all, there are nonetheless the SZA signatures we all know and love: outsized jerseys, dishevelled denims, varsity jackets. However that’s the magic of the singer’s model proper now. Whether or not it’s a couture gown or casual-leaning classic denims, every part she wears feels as down-to-earth and genuine as her songs.
Key to SZA’s newest model chapter is the performer’s longtime stylist Alejandra Hernandez. The 2 first linked in 2016, once they labored collectively on the visible for SZA’s early-career single, “Drew Barrymore.” Since then, the 2 girls have fashioned a robust artistic bond. Hernandez has styled SZA for the majority of SOS—together with music movies, pink carpet appearances, and even handcrafted tour seems. Hernandez, who additionally runs the athleisure model Yr of Ours, says an overarching focus when creating SZA’s seems is consolation. “She desires to be snug,” the stylist stated. “Actually snug, but in addition snug with herself.”
To Hernandez, there’s quiet energy in a star of SZA’s caliber performing in arenas in an enviable array of thrifted jerseys from the ’90s and menswear items. “A lot of the women in her house are carrying a bedazzled catsuit or a leotard,” Hernandez says. “It’s so cool that she simply wears the issues she feels snug in any setting, regardless of what’s anticipated of somebody at her degree.”
Under, Hernandez unpacks the comfort-focused style behind SZA’s SOS period.
Do you keep in mind what it was like engaged on that “Drew Barrymore” video all these years in the past?
There’s nothing that she wore again then that she wouldn’t put on now. She’s such a down-to-earth woman. I keep in mind for that video we labored with lots of classic, which we bought from my pal Gabriel [@Gabriel_Held_Vintage]. She wore the Dior Rasta bikini and this wonderful metallic Pucci pantsuit. She wore issues that she would nonetheless put on to this present day. I feel every part round her has modified rather a lot—particularly 5 years later. However I feel stylewise she’s very genuine to who she is.
What are some keys to SZA’s model that you simply consider if you’re pulling items for her?
Issues that I all the time attempt to have for her are huge denims, like males’s straight leg denims. She loves varsity jackets, so I all the time have these for a becoming. She loves classic, particularly the Nineteen Nineties and the early 2000s. So I all the time have items from these eras too. I additionally all the time have bikini tops. You’ll see within the “Low” music video, which hopefully comes out very quickly. She’s carrying a bikini high with a bike jacket. Oh, and massive jerseys. Like with the quilt of the album. We actually didn’t know what she was going to put on till the day we shot it. So I needed to prep every part. We tried completely different variations of various jerseys, however I’m so grateful I had all of the jerseys I had.
How have you ever approached dressing SZA for this tour?
That is really my first tour at this degree. I’ve by no means completed something like this earlier than. We’ve lots of fast modifications, and we principally design the outfits with them in thoughts. I keep in mind speaking to her about all of the completely different designers that reached out and needed to suggest concepts for the tour. She principally stated, I simply need us to make our personal factor. I believed that was actually cool, as a result of she actually trusted me. So a number of the outfits I even made by hand!
How did you are taking the practicalities of the tour into consideration when designing SZA’s tour seems?
After our first gown rehearsal, we realized a few of these designs have been overly bold for the period of time that we needed to change. So we needed to simplify lots of issues. And with that being stated, I needed to reduce up lots of issues that already existed to remake the entire wardrobe. I had my tailor, Gina, with me and a few native assistants who can sew. Nevertheless it was principally us slicing up a skirt and making a high out of it. The raft jacket she wears when she floats over the viewers? That’s a jacket I needed to hand sew. That piece didn’t exist within the wardrobe, it was gonna be worn below a skirt.
What’s been a particular outfit and/or second from this busy cycle for you?
Doing the Time 100 was a very particular second for me. I don’t do editorial normally; I do music movies and performances extra steadily. That felt like such a giant accomplishment, for me and for her. It was only a actually cool second to see her dance in a Iris Van Herpen gown on set. I’ll keep in mind that second in my coronary heart.