Maluma Is Men’s Fashion’s Hottest New Muse
Oh baby! It’s the breakout season of Maluma. The Colombian singer is a part of a Latin reggaeton boom that has captured fashion’s imagination in the last year. In the new well-dressed Latinx crowd that includes trap rapper Bad Bunny (known for his funky overalls and cheeky short shorts) and the logo-loving singer J. Balvin, Maluma stands out with his brooding sensuality and risk-taking fashion smarts. Much like his intoxicating gruff sound, the singer’s style has its own distinct beat. Released in 2015, Pretty Boy, Dirty Boy is widely considered to be his breakthrough album, though it’s arguably “Medellín,” the sultry single, he released with Madonna earlier this year, that solidified his fashion cred. (Fun fact: Maluma was born in Medellín, Colombia.) In the video for the song, Maluma flaunts one of the most polarizing menswear accessories out there: a pair of suspenders. On anyone else, the hiked-up-to-there trouser look would be deeply dorky, and yet Maluma seems to radiate swagger and sex appeal. His crisp white shirt is unbuttoned to reveal a roaring tiger tattoo on his chest and dangling gold “M” pendant necklace. Two silky red ribbons are tightly wound around his bulging biceps as he salsa dances to the music.
It’s with that superstar self-assuredness that Maluma took on his first trip to the men’s shows in Europe last month. He touched down at Dsquared2 in Milan decked out in an outfit that was bound to get him noticed: an orange and pink tie-dye shirt with cowboy fringe.
“I was a little bit aggressive and I took the position to wear something that was unexpected,” said Maluma speaking from his hotel in Poland, where he was on the first leg of his European tour. “Everyone loved it.” He followed that bold fashion move up at Heron Preston’s show in Paris two days later, breaking all hypebeast conventions by accessorizing his white streetwise vest and baggy pants with a pair of polished black dress shoes. Twenty-four hours later, and he was looking fresh yet again at the Off-White show, flaunting the brand’s oversized logo tee and eye-popping tangerine-colored sneakers alongside Fashion Week vets like Balmain creative director Olivier Rousteing. He for sure gave Timothee Chalamet a run for his money when he showed up to the Louis Vuitton show, in a silver harness by the French house and pair of boxfresh orange Air Jordans, worn casually unlaced for a swaggering stride. “It was comfortable, which was the important thing,” said the singer nonchalantly of the buzzed-about look. And the fashion didn’t stop there: flaunting his more tender side, Maluma headed out to the JW Anderson show in the designer’s patchwork knit with sleeves cut at a high angle to show off his trademark rippling arm muscles.