Nicholas James Williams -better known as musical wunderkind, Trinidad James- has a few choice words for his haters! “I’m not your daddy,” he says, “I wear what I want to wear- for me.”
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In his exclusive ‘My Fashion Story’ video interview with ESSENCE, James sat down with us to discuss his personal style, his daily musings and the evolution of men’s fashion– all while getting his nails done at a Manhattan nail salon. The hitmaker’s moniker combines his middle name with homage to his birthplace of Trinidad and Tobago and has been buzzed about since he first stepped onto the music scene in 2012. James admits that his career is not just about the music but that he wants to be the best entertainer of his generation, and his involvement with fashion is about him being able to find his own identity outside of what everyone else is wearing.
He describes his personal style as a, “fabulous and fearless, street-funk mix,” he says, adding that “streetwear is something that I truly enjoy. I feel like high-fashion doesn’t truly make sense to you unless you grow up around it or you can afford it.” Regarding his unorthodox approach to getting dressed, James says, “Dudes have been wearing skinny jeans and the craziest stuff, since way back. I’ve dressed this way for so long when it wasn’t cool for men-of-color or a straight man to just dress how he wants to dress.”
James’ fashion aesthetic is laced with nostalgia and harkens back to an era of music where artists like The Gap Band and Charlie Wilson transcended men’s style. In referencing their sartorial savvy, James says, “From a straight man’s perspective, people just don’t get it- and they probably never will.”