While in New York shooting promo spots for his upcoming ‘Bud Light Dive Bar’ Tour, John Mayer sat down with GQ to talk music, fame, fashion and everything else under the sun. Revered far and wide for his exceptional singing/songwriting skill set, the musical maven has managed to steer clear of the public eye since pumping the brakes on his alleged womanizing ways. Becoming increasingly known for his eclectic fashion sensitivities, Mayer has shown a certain fondness for hitting up social media sporting some of the game’s hottest gear. From his love affair with Rolex watches and visvim pieces to rocking ACRONYM Presto sneakers and BAPE necklaces, the artist completed fashion’s full circle in deciding to purchase French eyewear label Max Pittion.
Excerpts of Mayer’s interview appear below while the piece can be read in its entirety over at gq.com.
Your personal style is always a bit ahead of the wave. What’re you workshopping right now?
Oh that’s funny, that’s a good way to look at it. Well, I’m trying to integrate the Grateful Dead life with all aspects my life. And right now in that world there’s such a burgeoning scene that’s a combination of streetwear and Deadhead wear. A new generation of really great designers—guys who work as professional designers for fashion houses and for retail places—are Deadheads. The world of people making really limited run Dead-esque shirts that have a modern vernacular style-wise… I am so into this world right now.
Like the guy who does your merch, Jeremy Dean.
Jeremy Dean—he’s got the brand We Can Discover the Wonders of Black Flag—his tees are exceptional. Exceptional. And he’s only making 100 of them. This is the underground. This is the new underground of streetwear, and it’s happening in Grateful Dead world, so I’m mixing that in, ’cause I think there’s room for a little bit of Heady tie-dye.
When you get interested in something, whether it’s Visvim, watches, sneakers, whatever, you go in super deep. Where does this obsessive curiosity come from?
Always had it. And I met really cool people when I began to extend beyond music. I met [Fragment designer] Hiroshi [Fujiwara] in Japan. Then Hiroshi would come to New York and I’d lend him an acoustic guitar. Then I’d go to Japan and Hiroshi would take me out. And then Hiroshi introduced me to [Supreme founder] James Jebbia. Eric Clapton was also in the mix, he walked me over to [now-closed streetwear boutique] The Hideout in the UK. And that really turned me on to it—’cause I’ve always had this collector mentality. I got very interested in fashion and how it connects with ambition to just go deeper into a world.
I think one of the reasons your interest in menswear seems exceptional is that it seems unconnected to your musical career—a totally different creative lifestyle.
Well, it’s only different if you look at the genre of music as the definer of what culture you can be involved in. I mean, I was sort of horizontal before anyone else went horizontal in terms of just breaking down the barriers. Because I was always far more interested in stuff other than the scope of music that I made. And so if you take the musical genre partitioning away, then none of it’s all that strange. It’s just that I don’t necessarily connect my interest in fashion to the main event of what I do musically.
The only key to access is curiosity and looking into developing a sense of taste—that goes well beyond fashion taste, right? This is the real thesis of the whole thing: fashion is now available to everybody. You don’t have to wait in line for Supreme. It might actually be easier to get it on eBay, in terms of cost-benefit. Right? That’s no longer the barrier to entry to get the shirt or to get the record or to get the skateboard deck or to get the brick. And it’s the same thing with music, it’s the same thing with filmmaking, it’s the same thing with every aspect of art. The access is now completely uniform. Anybody can make a record, anybody can have a band, anybody can make a film. Anybody can have a website, anybody can start an initiative, whatever they want to start.
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