Feb 27, 2017 | By Emma Grace Bailey
Apr 21, 2016
There are very few musicians who you can call icons, to be an icon your music has to resonate with people, really speak to them in a magical way, and transcend generations.
That was most definitely the way with Prince, in pretty much every family, each generation can name their favourite Prince record, that magical tune that got them through heartache, or the best night of their life. It’s no wonder that he sold over 100m records during his career, and recorded more than 30 albums ( at least one of which will definitely be in your record collection or on your iPod).
As the news breaks that Prince has passed away at 57, it feels like saying goodbye to a great friend, one who made an art of party music, of making songs that had you singing along and screaming until you were hoarse.
Prince was so much more than just an artist, he was a symbol, an icon, a music maker of the highest degree, a rebel with an afro, a fashion star who pushed the boundaries of what we ‘should’ wear, and his concerts if you were lucky to attend them were the ultimate party, where he made you feel that you had an audience with just him.
So, we at WGSN celebrate the man, the icon:
WGSN Senior Menswear Editor, Jian DeLeon:
“Once I dated a girl because she had a raspberry beret; the relationship did not last but she did forget her hat in my car. “Kiss” is especially poignant to me because it was the first song I ever did karaoke to as an adult. The thing about Prince for me is that for minorities he was really a champion of individuality, in many ways he was like our Bowie, minus the chameleon-like costume shifts. He was consistent, but he was consistently him. Before Pharrell, before Kanye West were really championing embracing staunch individuality in the culture, Prince was straight-up inimitable. He was a short guy from Minnesota whose personality and style made him enormous. No other artist has made purple look cooler, and no one ever will. Sure—people can pull it off, but the hue has always looked appropriately royal on him. I don’t think he really died, he just ascended to a higher plane of existence. Goodnight, sweet Prince. May we all one day be fortunate enough to purify ourselves in the waters of Lake Minnetonka.”
At WGSN, we live and breathe fashion, and Prince was fashion, that pure definition of risk-taker and style trailblazer, definitely not a wallflower, and loved because he always used fashion as a means of personal expression.
WGSN Christa Kaufmann, Catwalks Editor:
“Prince was the ultimate fashion influencer, you only need to look at the recent A/W16/17 catwalks to see his influence felt. The catwalks were a celebration of the maximalist theme, with designers creatively mixing up fabrics, prints and colours in an irreverent potpourri of styles. That glamorous disco scene, a vibrant play of print-clashing styles and shaking up silhouettes. All this was Prince through and through.”
WGSN Jane Boddy, Director of Womenswear and Colour:
“I can’t believe he’s gone, I’m genuinely heartbroken. I remember seeing him on stage in the 80s and being blown away by his performance. Beyond music, Prince, like Bowie was a total trailblazer in the fashion arena. We’ve been talking at length this year about gender neutrality, and Prince was another master of this. In fashion, we’re seeing this huge shift towards breaking boundaries, and Prince was one of the original rule-breakers. At WGSN, we celebrate fashion disruptors, those who reinvent the wheel and break all style rules. By breaking the rules, he was a fashion inspiration, creating a full creative vision- carving out his own, totally distinctive path.”
Know what’s next. Become a WGSN member today to benefit from our daily trend intelligence, retail analytics, consumer insights and bespoke consultancy services.