The world belonged to Lil Nas X even before he dropped MONTERO, his debut album. And yet, despite the red carpet dominance and pearl-clutching, it almost feels like there was something missing. Something a little more avant.
Let the Lil Nas X x Jean Paul Gaultier shirt — revealed on Gaultier's Instagram — quell any lingering doubts. Yes, MONTERO merch is already available on Lil Nas X's web store but gear designed in partnership with JPG is a match made in heaven. Or hell, depending how you wanna frame it.
Appropriately, the collaborative garment — made in Italy and limited to only 666 pieces — is a slim, stretchy shirt in the vein of Gaultier's signature super-tight tattoo tops. They're €333 apiece (about $390), just to get another $666 reference in there.
Ever since conservatives screamed themselves hoarse over Lil Nas' cheekily "satanic" themes, the musician has done everything possible to further bait the prudes, from edgy outfits to prison shower dances.
His trollish behavior has a kindred spirit in Jean Paul Gaultier, the venerable French designer once reviled as fashion's enfants terrible due to his, well, edgy outfits.
Like Lil Nas, though, Gaultier never sought to provoke simply for the sake of it. Both men — who publicly identify as gay — use homoeroticism to undermine staid societal norms surrounding masculinity, for instance, creating inclusive content for their diverse audience.
Not because it gets a rise out of establishment blowhards (that's a bonus), but because it's an organic expression of their own identities.
Though, Lil Nas has taken personal expression to levels that '80s Gaultier could only dream of. To Gaultier's credit, he's had a fulfilling and progressive summer.
But neither have anything to prove, which is why it makes sense for Lil Nas X x Jean Paul Gaultier to come together. JPG is riding a well-earned victory lap, handing off the enfants terrible crown to Lil Nas at the (current) height of his own power.
The collaboration is available to pre-order on Jean Paul Gaultier's dedicated Lil Nas X website, with delivery expected by October 20.