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MY WORLD / Moses Sumney

‘I feel strongly that I don’t want to have any clear genre in my music – I want to be everything or nothing.’ Moses Sumney is a musician who can’t be defined by conventional labels. It’s a mindset that’s shaped his uniquely fluid sense of style, too. Here, Sumney reflects on the moments that influenced his style and shaped his music. Photography by Arnaud Lajeunie. Styling by Victoire Simonney.

‘My first memory of fashion is my parents for sure. I remember photographs of them living in Paris in the 1980s, very much living a Parisian cosmopolitan life…

There’s a photo of my mum in this all-white jumpsuit with an afro, and one of my dad in an Eighties plaid suit, also with an afro. Those are my first memories of people wearing clothing to express themselves and to share who they were. My mum was actually a seamstress for a bit in the Nineties, and when we lived in southern California she would create custom designs for people who wanted to dress Ghanaian.’ Above: Moses wears T-shirt by Raf Simons, trousers by Calvin Klein 205W39NYC and watch by Ulysse Nardin.

‘I was kind of all over the place stylistically when I was growing up. When I was in high school I was really obsessed with looking preppy…

My sister was really stylish and was into Phat Farm, so I had a phase when I was trying to dress really hip-hop – minus the saggy clothes and pants – but I had my Phat Farm Akademiks phase [laughs]. Over the last few years black is pretty much the only colour I’ve worn just because I feel it’s the colour that connects with me the most aesthetically. I love oversized silhouettes – I’ll wear like 5XL or 7XL T-shirts and balloon pants.’ Above: Moses wears jumper by Raf Simons and watch by TAG Heuer.

‘Grace Jones has had the biggest influence on me stylistically. Both in her style and in her art, she’s always been daring and never afraid to break the mould...

There aren’t many other people that I look to and feel similarly about. I also feel like living in Ghana when I was growing up influenced my style a lot, especially now. The way that the men dress is not typically masculine, there’s a lot of flowy garments and colourful fabrics. Even though I don’t wear colourful patterns, the shape of the African style really influenced me without me knowing it. I didn’t realise that until recently.’ Above: Moses wears jumper by Jacquemus and watch by TAG Heuer.

‘I’m not afraid to be multidimensional in one song. I try to make music that is fluid and that’s painted with deeper shades...

I kind of wish that I could wear clothes that sound like music, just in that I could wear pieces that have movement and express emotion. I’m trying to move more and more towards dressing like I want to sound. When I first started I really wanted to be considered a folk and soul artist and thought that that was really important as a mark of identity. Whereas now, I feel strongly that I don’t want to have any clear genre in my music – I want to be everything or nothing.’ Above: Moses wears T-shirt by Raf Simons and watch by Ulysse Nardin.

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