The liberating style icon we’ve always needed


Since bursting onto the music scene in 2007, Janelle Monáe has done nothing but impress. An artistic powerhouse with killer fashion sense, she simultaneously fills us with envy and inspires us to try new things when it comes to style.

Well-known for rocking a black and white suit and a minimalist approach to style, we love how Janelle can effortlessly segue from a classic tux to pink vagina pants and still make it look cool and classy. Created by designer Duran Lantink for the Pynk video, we are still holding out hope that these ruffled trews will be available to buy somewhere soon.

But whether a music video, red carpet appearance or a live performance on stage, Janelle’s style is more than just personal preference, using it to play with gender identity and queerness, as well as a nod to her roots, recently telling the Huffington Post: “It’s a dedication to uniformity… I’m a minimalist by heart, but a lot of it had to do with me wanting to have a uniform like the working class, like my mom and my grandmother.” 

Janelle doesn’t just sing about liberation and freedom; she has created her own lane and a style that shows dedication to her foremothers. Her wardrobe might be exclusively black and white, with the occasional splash of red every now and then, but she proves that this colour palette is anything but simplistic. 

More Monáe staples we love include fabulous headwear and hairstyles. Whether wearing a round hat or she’s rocking pigtail buns, she’s styled to perfection from head to toe, and we love to see it. 

This article originally appeared in the April 2020 issue of DIVA – grab your digital copy right here!

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