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Erykah Badu talks fashion and influence as cover of ‘Vogue”s March issue


Jamie Hawkesworth/Vogue

If there’s one star who’s been known for her unique sense of style, it’s Erykah Badu. Since her early days in the music industry, she’s had what Vogue called an “ethereal personal style and signature sound” that she continues to flaunt. Funnily enough, Badu only recently learned about fashion brands. She tells Vogue that she was more concerned about putting an outfit together than the designers behind the clothing.

“I didn’t know all the houses and names of designers until I was in my 30s or 40s,” says Badu, who graces the cover of the magazine’s March issue. “What I had was a good understanding of look and shape, the way I did with paper dolls when I was a child.”

“For me, it’s about seeing things coming together, like making a cake from beginning to end,” she continues.

Of the many memorable looks Badu rocked in her career, the singer recalls the 1996 Soul Train Awards in Los Angeles, when she donned the “tallest turban” Questlove said he’d seen in his life.

“I remember being among an elite group of young people who were really embracing what it meant to be an African here, generationally,” Badu says. “We embraced locs and ’fros and our natural state, our fabrics and jewelry. It was a beautiful time.”

She realizes that she’s influenced a whole new generation of artists who have the same energy.

“I feel I’ve poked this hole in the dam. It’s this little hole and all this water is seeping through,” says Badu. “Now all the people who have the same energy are able to experience what I experience. It’s a rebirthing process, and I feel like I’m a midwife.”

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