Leon Bridges opens up about Met Gala, Emmy Awards, and why cowboy boots are still the epitome of Texas style
Leon Bridges is a man of music and an equal connoisseur of sophistication – right down to his Texan cowboy boots.
The Grammy AwardThe award-winning artist frequently lights up legions of fans with her super chic style both on stage and on the red carpet. So it’s no surprise to learn that he was recently busy in New York City to attend the Met Gala as well as an upcoming performance at the 2021 Emmy Awards in Los Angeles.
More New Shoes
Calling Dallas-Fort Worth home, Bridges regularly wears – and pays homage to – true American style, and in a seamless collaboration, has teamed up with artisan aesthetic brand Bode for her look at the Met. Dressed in a head-to-toe cowboy look, the “Beyond” singer strutted down the stairs of the Met with swagger as a Cartier guest, where he chose to choose a necklace from the jeweler who reminded him of a bolo tie – in the quintessential Texan shape.
As he prepares for Emmy’s, while traveling the country for various performances, Bridges was able to spend some time with FN to hear about his recent experiences in New York City, his current obsessions with shoes and why he will only wear boots and moccasins.
Can you give us a taste of what song you’ll play on your next Emmy performance?
Léon Bridges: “I’m really excited about this! This is my first time playing Emmy’s. I will be playing one of my original songs called ‘River’ with my good friend Jon Batiste, who will also be playing with me. The segment itself is the In Memoriam where The Emmy’s pays tribute to deceased actors and industry people. It is an honor to be invited to play during such an emotional segment.
Can you tell us a bit about your Emmy look? And of course, especially your shoes.
KG: “My good friend and stylist, Gabriela Tena makes it easy. We’re still working on it, but I know one of the looks is a crystallized one. [Swarovski] all in black. I haven’t consolidated my shoe choice yet, but I’ll probably go with a moccasin or a Chelsea boot.
You wear a fair amount of styles of moccasins. Which label do you think is your favorite or must-have?
KG: “For me, if it’s not a moccasin or a boot, I don’t want it. Gucci is the pinnacle for me in the world of moccasins. They really do a good job embodying all that 1970s aesthetic and I really love their Cuban moccasin heel. Gucci is so crazy.
You recently attended the Met Gala. Tell us about your experience.
KG: “It was my third time going to the Met Gala and it was like the first time. The theme of the event was right in my wheelhouse [of Americana] and when you think of the idea of menswear, the cowboy look is perfect for this theme. It was a crazy event and a surreal piece for someone like me – it’s great to be there with people I admire and for them to share that mutual appreciation. At the same time, there were also awkward moments because I don’t know many people [in fashion] and I’m horrible at triggering conversations. But it was still beautiful because, there was a moment when I went into the bathroom and I walked in and saw; Erykah Badu, Lil Nas X, Lil Uzi Vert and Jack harlow. I was like, “Wow, this is an interesting situation here. “
And your look? Shoes too, of course.
KG: “I went with an all Bode look [styled by Mac Huelster], except for the hat I wore. Since I’m from Texas, it’s important for me to incorporate the Texas aesthetic into my fashion. The powder blue fringed jacket and the black shirt, the black pants – and the pants almost had that crystallized effect with some sequins and rhinestones. The shoes were also designed by Bode. My hat was designed by a brand called Kennimer Co. of Houston, Texas.
Courtesy of Eric Lagg
How about the feathers on the hat from Dirty Old Hatbands?
KG: “I didn’t know her and her designs until I saw the bracelets, but one of the main aspects of the hat that attracted me was this feathered headband. It totally reminded me of this marriage of motherland and soul. You look at Bobby Womack and some soul artists like that, to really have that western look and I think that reflected.
With your Cartier rock bolero and your fringed jacket and hat, you embodied and honored a true Texan look. What does the Texan style mean to you?
KG: “When you think of the identity of Texas style, there are a few important elements in this whole ‘stuff’ – the basics – a cowboy hat, a good pair of boots and denim is the epitome of the uniform. Texan. For my part, I want to convey that this style is not unique to white culture and that you can still be a black man and still be authentic in this style. It has always been important for me to integrate this aesthetic into my fashion.
Courtesy of Eric Lagg
Cowboy boots are part of your rigor. Where are the best places to find authentic styles in the Dallas-Fort Worth area?
KG: “In the Dallas-Fort Worth area, I would direct people to a place called Chieffalo Americana in western Fort Worth. I like their vibe because it’s not a purist western clothing store, it’s different things like vintage Gucci belts and scarves and of course cowboy boots. There’s also a place called Doc’s Records and Vintage – it’s a record and vintage store at the same time. There are also a lot of great vintage boots. In Dallas, I would send everyone to Dolly Python.
You like vintage shopping and old school brands like Wrangler. Why does this speak to you?
KG: “It’s all part of my story. I pretty much learned to wear Wrangler denim. The guy who eventually produced my album was a huge Wrangler fan and noticed I was wearing them – the rest is history. Wrangler is the pinnacle of denim. Throughout history, some prominent people have carried their business. If you look at Martin Luther King, the only photo of him wearing denim is Wrangler. I really like their denim which has this stitched crease and their rancher pants are the perfect dress pants. I am delighted to be able to collaborate with them. It’s one of my favorite denim brands for sure.
Your album “Gold Diggers Sounds” certainly made an impact this year. Do you think the Grammy’s are in your future?
KG: “I really hope that, in a way, the Grammys see it as a great album. I hope the album will be recognized and eligible for nomination. What is most important is that the album resonated with a lot of people as a complete work. I hope to be nominated again and if not, I will go back to the drawing board and you will see me doing great art.
Courtesy of Eric Lagg
The best of footwear