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Drake General Store Style Icon: Kurt Cobain

Nearly twenty years after his death, Kurt Cobain’s music + style influences continue to stay rooted among angsty youth today. The singer, guitarist + songwriter of Nirvana never wanted to be an icon (“I am a spokesperson for myself” Kurt once said), nevertheless a style icon, but that is something he has become. The influence of grunge can be seen at local punk shows, in Urban Outfitters + down the runway of major fashion weeks. 

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Kurt’s aesthetic was mismatched, patched-up, multi-layered (apparently he was self-conscious about his skinny frame), tattered + carefree. His clothes looked like they probably smelled less like teen spirit + more like they’d been worn on the road unwashed an entire tour. This minimalistic, scruffy look was metaphorically flipping the bird to the establishment + to the other subcultures that demanded a strict set of fashion rules + commodified their music. Kurt saw the irony in how people dressed in the punk scenes he grew up in + rebelled against being a product with his ratty flannel, holey jeans, disheveled hair + wearing the same t-shirt for months on end. 

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Kurt’s raspy howling songs were deeply personal, often misinterpreted + he became known for

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, but he didn’t take himself, his music or what he wore too seriously. He would wear a dress, cheerleader’s outfit, dye his hair radio-active lime green with kool-aid + even wore a yellow high-collared ball gown to the 1994 MTV Headbanger’s Ball. Most of Kurt’s style was born from being rebellious + unconsumeristic, but he also wanted to expose people to their own prejudices, like a man wearing a dress.  He had said when asked “I am not gay, although I wish I were, just to piss off homophobes” + also told Spin “I  would like to get rid of the homophobes, sexists, and racists in our audience. I know they’re out there and it really bothers me”. We’re still playing Nirvana’s records decades later + looking to Kurt Cobain as a style icon, not so much for the clothes he wore but his ideology behind them.


The mad minute: @openingceremony x @levi’s pieces available at the Drake General Store on Bathurst.