John Mayer's love of all things streetwear is well documented, and now the guitar virtuoso has sat down with GQ Style to talk shop on the current state of the game.
In the wide-ranging interview, Mayer, who famously owns one of the world's largest visvim collections, opens up on topics including Supreme, Nike ACG, BAPE and OFF-WHITE. Bizarrely, he cites Eric Clapton (yes, that Eric Clapton) as an influential figure behind his journey into the #culture. "Eric Clapton was also [an inspiration], he walked me over to [now-closed streetwear boutique] The Hideout in the UK," says the Troubadour, who also keeps close company with the likes of Hiroshi Fujiwawra and James Jebbia.
As well as fashion, Mayer also spills on his future music plans. Find some of our choice takeaways from the interview below.
On his initial curiosity with streetwear
I met [Fragment designer] Hiroshi [Fujiwara] in Japan. Then Hiroshi would come to New York and I’d lend him an acoustic guitar. Then I’d go to Japan and Hiroshi would take me out. And then Hiroshi introduced me to [Supreme founder] James Jebbia. Eric Clapton was also in the mix, he walked me over to [now-closed streetwear boutique] The Hideout in the UK. And that really turned me on to it—’cause I’ve always had this collector mentality. I got very interested in fashion and how it connects with an ambition to just go deeper into a world.
On his current obsession with Grateful Dead T-shirts
I must have a couple hundred. And again, in terms of not being too literal, I don’t wear them on the stage with the band, because it’s too on the nose. But where I’m interested in making it click is wearing it where you don’t normally see it. That’s what makes it so interesting. Like, Future wearing a Grateful Dead T-shirt. That’s where hip-hop is so smart right now. Hip-hop understands exactly what we were talking about, how to defy literalism. I just saw Big Sean wearing a Rick and Morty T-shirt. That’s great. That’s exactly what I’m talking about. Hip-hop’s always been that way. A lot more than rock and roll. And to me, it just represents freethinking. I love freethinking, and the people that I look up to are free thinkers.
On his fashion ambitions
I don’t know [If I'll get involved in fashion]. I don’t know if I’d be an asset to it. I know I’m good at it. I do a lot more designing than I admit, in terms of stuff for me or collabs. I have a very set idea and I’m very good at designing stuff with other people. And I’m really good at knowing when I’ve taken an idea as far as my head can take it and giving it to someone else and going like, Just fuck with it. If anybody got engaged with me and even started working with me for a couple of days, they’d be like, Oh, this guy just sent me pulls from influences that I didn’t know he even had. You know? The smallest world for me is the one that has singer-songwriting in it.
On his current streetwear favorites
I’m kind of moving around from thing to thing. I had a Louis Vuitton thing for a minute this year. Like, bribing myself onto the road to be happy. Paradise is really cool. I like 917, Bianca Chandon, and Union. Also, probably people who are really into that are, like, Gross, now. Why do you have to mention it? Oh, the Boot Boyz dudes. Their layouts are fucking insanely good.
On Nike ACG and Errolson Hugh
I’m also into Nike ACG right now, what [Acronym and Nike ACG designer] Errolson [Hugh] is doing with ACG is very cool. And I actually think I’m gonna mess with NikeiD a little bit. I think NikeiD is a little bit like iTunes University, where there’s this great resource that no one’s thinking to sort of hijack. So I’m planning on hijacking NikeiD and really messing with that to where I’m gonna have my own Nike shoe that Nike doesn’t have to give me. I just bought it on ID. [laughs]
Head over to GQ Style for the full interview.
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