Shawn Mendes’s Stylist On The Inspiration Behind The Singer-Songwriter’s Tour Wardrobe
He’s done duets with Miley Cyrus and fronted campaigns for Calvin Klein, proving each time that regardless of whether it’s his voice or abs on show, he’ll still break the internet regardless.
At just 20-years-old, Shawn Mendes has come a long way from the 14-year-old who posted dozens of six-second covers of songs on the social-media platform, Vine. Now, Mendes has reached a level of fame few could have predicted, with 15 billion global streams, three No. 1 albums and three top 10 singles on the Billboard charts. That’s on top of global headlining tours that have seen the young singer-songwriter sell out New York’s Madison Square Garden and London’s O2 Arena.
Touring is a crucial part of any musician’s career, particularly at a time where record sales have dwindled due to the advent of streaming platforms like Spotify and iTunes, giving the artists little revenue in return. High-profile stars like Mendes however, need not be concerned. But that hasn’t stopped Mendes from pulling out all the stops for his own tours.
Kicking off his North American summer tour in Oregon just last week, Mendes stepped out on stage sporting a new style that was undeniably influenced by rock roots and the legends that have graced music stages in years past. His longtime stylist, Tiffany Briseno, worked with the Canadian to revamp his look and in a recent interview with Vogue, explained just how his style has evolved.
Mendes’ Evolution of Style
“At first he had a stage when he’d really just wear what he wanted, which I’d call the ‘plaid stage,’ then we elevated his style a bit when he started wearing leather jackets and black jeans. Now, I’d say we have moved onto what I’d call the ‘natural rockstar’ stage,” said Briseno.
The Tour Look
“The approach for tour is much more raw and lived-in compared to some of our past award shows and other performance looks. We have also integrated the idea of de-layering throughout the entire show. Starting with a lightweight jacket and ending in a cut-off tee or staple tank top. This approach was inspired by icons like James Brown and the use of his cape – the idea of using clothing to create more anticipation for the audience.”
The look Mendes sports now is one of classic rock-and-roll, but much like his own persona, Mendes has made it his own with a casual, bold confidence. As Briseno explains, “The goal is for Shawn to make his mark in a world of past and present style icons. Taking inspiration and paying homage to some of the greats such as Elvis, Bruce Springsteen, and Jimi Hendrix.”
Other influences can be found on the screen, with notable references to classic film characters such as those from The Outsiders to the Teddy Boy aesthetic found in Grease.
Collaborations and Designers
Having fronted a campaign for Calvin Klein, designers have caught on to the value that is Shawn Mendes. With his adoring fan base, the singer is big money when it comes to having him sport a designer’s clothes. Not surprisingly, Briseno worked with a number of brands to design custom looks for the star, including pieces from Calvin Klein, The Kooples, Paul Smith, Tommy Hilfiger, Dzojchen, Dsquared 2, and Saint Laurent.
“We curated everything from shapes, design details, and fabric choices to solidify Shawn’s iconic style,” said Briseno, who also incorporated some vintage pieces into the mix. “We love mixing a great vintage find with a higher-end, more tailored piece. Key items like jackets, worn-in tees, and accessories like textured belt that channel the past decades of rock and roll.”
Practicality Takes Priority
Of course, when it comes to performing on stage, a good wardrobe means nothing if it isn’t practical. A key factor to Briseno’s styling was breathability and working with Mendes’s movements on stage. “The weight of the clothing and the way it moves on stage was key. Also, choosing a palette that would compliment the stage design and pop against the lighting was very important.”
Ultimately, the main thing was that Mendes loved the look. “He has to feel good in it,” said Briseno. “He is open and knows what he likes, so it makes for a very successful creative process in our fitting sessions.”