cardboard radio

Inside Joe Jonas' Low-Key Luxury Chic

DNCE leader shows off vintage Godzilla T-shirt, Cuban-cigar collection and other prized items from personal style stash

“I’m a pretty big nerd,” says Joe Jonas, sitting in the L.A. house he’s newly dubbed “the Shaq-teau.” If you’re wondering why, check out the life-size cutout of NBA great Shaquille O'Neal that greets you upon entrance. Jonas – who just released his debut LP with his disco-pop crew, DNCE – has come a long way since his teen days as a sitcom star on the Disney Channel. But he’s kept a boyish sensibility, even as he’s become a little more rugged and sophisticated with age.

“As a band, we’ve always been attracted to fashion and our own versions of that,” he says, “My bass player [Cole Whittle] would, like, find a vest from a guy who’s doing scaffolding work in the Lower East Side. Whatever lets you be yourself.” For Jonas, that means having a house stocked with childhood memorabilia, as well as fine art and a wardrobe that mixes leather and letterman jackets in vibrant, dime-store comic-book colors.

Godzilla Shirt

“I was in a really rad vintage store in Harajuku when I found the T-shirt, and I freaked out. Like, ‘No way, a Godzilla shirt in Japan!’ I’m a pretty big nerd; I loved all those old shows. … It has all the villains from the movie on the back. I think it was still on the mannequin – I had to barter with the guy to keep it.

"Harajuku is one of the best shopping areas I’ve seen in the world. We always try and take a day off and go lose our minds there. That time we only got 30 minutes – I really lucked out. It’s the one shirt I’ll always wear until it falls off.”

G.I. Joe Vintage Lunchbox

“I loved G.I. Joe as a kid. I used to collect the action figures; I also loved the show. I thought I was gonna make all this money and eventually sell all my G.I. Joes. Then I found out my little brother Frankie ripped out all my action figures to play with. I was pretty bummed out, but he had a good time.

"I found the lunchbox somewhere in London. … You know, to keep a piece of my childhood. You find the most bizarre stuff around the world, all this stuff from America. Like, we were in Japan and I found T-shirts from my hometown, Wyckoff, New Jersey.”

Vintage Tuffy Boxing Gloves

“The gloves were a gift from Cole. They’re these vintage gloves from the Thirties or Forties. They’re very worn-in. To me they represent hard work. I have them hanging up in my bedroom – they’re like the first thing I see in the morning. I don’t use those, though – I have newer boxing gloves that I take with me on tour.

"I got more serious about boxing in the last year. I joined a gym in L.A. called Unbreakable. They do all kinds of training – MMA fighters, boxers, former athletes. They’ll link you up with so many different, unique trainers. When I was on the floor, I fought one of the trainers, Ava Knight – she’s a flyweight boxing champ. She is an incredible trainer; she puts me through the ringer.  I’ve learned so much from her.

"For me, [boxing] is therapeutic! You just lose yourself. You can zone out, not think too much. You’re just listening for the clock. Doing the same routine at the gym gets really annoying and boring. You can box anywhere – at home, in a hallway, inside, outside. On tour it’s very useful.”

Giants Bomber Jacket

“I’m a big-time Giants fan. I grew up right by the stadium. The band always tries to go to games when we’re in New York. We’ve gone to three games this season. This jacket is vintage. I got lucky and found it at a pop-up shop in Brooklyn. Brooklyn’s obviously very good for shopping. I rock it as much as I can. My guitarist, JinJoo, went to her first Giants game recently and has been feeling [the jacket]. She’s been wearing it quite a bit.”

Extensive Knife Collection

“It was kind of an accidental gift. One late, drunken night, my friend was trying to figure out what he was going to buy me for my birthday, and on an infomercial there was a collection of 150-something knives for $90. That was my birthday present from him. … It came in the mail months later and I was shocked.”

Louis Vuitton Slip-On Sneakers

“[Designer] Kim Jones gifted me these, from a collection he did with Colette in Paris. I don’t even like to touch these shoes because they’re really special to me and [there are] only a couple in the world. I wore them a couple weeks ago and now they’re on my shelf because they are a prized possession and a special memory.”

Cuban Cigars

“These are probably all Cuban – Cohiba Behikes. Me and my younger brother Nick are big cigar smokers, we probably have multiple humidors at this point. The cigar box itself has the presidential seal on it. I tell people it was a gift from George Washington when they come over, [from] George Washington’s great-great-great-great granddaughter. … But it’s definitely not true.”

Art by Alejandro Diaz-Ayala

“I’ve gone to Miami for Art Basel over the last couple years. I’m not a pro collector, but I guess that’s the beauty of art – I just grab stuff that I’m really attracted to. … There’s this guy Alejandro Diaz-Ayala – he’s from Mexico and is very famous for his graffiti art. I saw his work in Miami a couple years ago. I got to meet him recently. The only way I can describe it is meeting your favorite artist and actor. … He’s such a rad guy. This painting reminds me of Elvis in a way. It reminds me of my friend John.”

Art by Ryan Hewett

“Ryan Hewett is South African, but I saw his work at the Unit London. He just … kills it. He does these really big, portrait-style works. I was looking through his pieces, wanting to buy something. Then I stopped at these two figures sparring – I think one of them is Muhammad Ali.”

Rick Ross Ashtray, Assorted Art Books

“There’s an awesome artist named DeerDana – she made this cool ashtray and sent it to me. The coffee-table book was a gift from Peter Tunney; it’s actually an art piece. He worked with hundreds of other artists pulling together different curated skull pieces and they made a book – he designed the outside cover.”

Arm Tattoo

“There’s this artist named Curtis Montgomery – he’s based in Toronto and Montreal. I’ve been a big fan of his work; some of it is pretty perverse, pretty crazy. Or naughty, I should say. I really love the way he does line work. For those who don’t have tattoos, clean line work is hard to find. I was in Toronto; it was during the storm Jonas. I was doing a radio takeover in Canada, so we called it the Storm Jonas Takeover. I had a few hours to kill, so I called Curtis. He magically had the next few hours off. And it turned out he was at a shop just down the street.

"I’ve always been attracted to the number three. It’s got three points; I’ve got three brothers. Another important thing is the hand – it’s an open hand, a female hand. It’s giving, like Mother Nature.”

Jonas Brothers With the Obama Family

“I’ve been lucky to go to the White House a couple times. This photo is from when we played with Paul McCartney. The experience was one thing I was both … so excited to do and couldn’t wait to be done. I was nervous the whole time, playing for all these iconic people. But our first time there was especially memorable. We played just after Obama became president. Me and my brothers got a call being like, 'Hi, can you get on a plane and play for Obama’s daughters?’ We were the surprise at the end of a scavenger hunt for the girls. It’s so cool to have been a part of that era.”

Orange Bomber Jacket

“A paparazzi took a photo of me walking [in this jacket] next to a construction cone. So I tweeted it with caption, 'Who wore it better?’”

Shaquille O'Neal Cardboard Cutout

“When Cole and I lived together, we’d call our house the 'Chateau.’ We’d collect cardboard cutouts from radio stations and encourage fans to bring them to us onstage. We played on the James Corden show once – Cole is really good friends with the art director there. The guy made us these amazing cardboard cutouts – one of them was a massive Shaq head. I started our performance wearing the Shaq head, pretending to be Shaq. I obviously keep that at my house. … It’s now the 'Shaq-teau.’”

Source: Rolling Stone