“I certainly don’t see myself as a ‘fashion icon,'” Lenny Kravitz said, “but I love the art form.”
The art form has loved it for a long time and it doesn’t agree with its status as a fashion icon, as this year it will receive the CFDA Fashion Icon Award.
The 58-year-old New York native is one of rock music’s most esteemed figures, emerging in 1989 with his debut album “Let Love Rule.” As his popularity grew in the early 2000s, he broke the record for the most wins in the Grammy category for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance by taking home the trophy consecutively for four years, from 1999 to 2002.
Throughout his prominence, he has been consistently recognized for his unique approach to fashion.
“There are so many people I’ve looked up to in terms of fashion,” Kravitz said. “I can list the greats like Jimi Hendrix, Miles Davis, Prince, David Bowie, Yves Saint Laurent and others, but the first was my mother. I can’t remember a time when she didn’t look perfect. She showed me how important it was to look my best from the inside. That’s what a fashion icon is to me.”
Kravtiz has long been embraced by the fashion industry, sitting front row at shows from the ’90s (Betsey Johnson’s fall 1999 collection alongside Vivica A. Fox) to today (often Saint Laurent in his daughter Zoë Kravitz. In 2020, she joined as the face of the brand).
“Fashion is another way of artistic expression. There are no rules other than being yourself. If what I’m doing connects or inspires someone to be more confident in their own skin, there’s nothing more he could ask for. Everything comes from within. Just be you,” Kravitz said. “It’s definitely a part of my life. I draw inspiration from everywhere I can. That could be an outfit or a look that I’ve noticed. That could translate beyond what I’m wearing on a given day and into a design idea or element of the live show. I try not to think about it too much, because it’s the best thing when it just hits me.”
As you reflect on the CFDA honor and the highlights of the past year, it has been the return to a more social life that stands out the most.
“It’s been great being back in the world,” says Kravitz. “I had the opportunity to go back on stage from the Met Gala to the Grammys, where I performed with HER. I have a lot of new music, design projects, photography, a film project and other projects going on. I have been spending a lot of time in Mexico and recently launched a brand of sotol called Nocheluna. I am in a great place. I feel blessed and I am looking forward to the future.”