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According to his official bio on the Warner Music press site, the most prevalent themes found in Brooklyn-raised Theophilus London's body of work—so far, the album Lovers Holiday, which was released earlier this year, and Timez Are Weird These Days, which drops tomorrow—are:
sex, boy-girl romance, love and loss in the digital age, sex drugs and rock n roll, air travel, adult situations, the challenges of growing up with an unusual name, signs o the times, sex, blowing money fast, ladies love, 90s NYC icons, appropriate footwear selection, getting out our dreams, kinds of blue, sex, one man's search for true love, one mans search for true love tonight like right now, existential cool, appropriate wine selection, chocolateObviously, after reading this list, we had to talk to him. Here's our five minute interview with Theophilus London on his style, his shirtlessness, and his collaboration with Cole Haan. Racked: What are you wearing right now?
Theophilus: I'm shirtless, I've got four gold chains on, and I'm wearing black jeans with a black leather Gucci belt.
Racked: So, everyone calls you a style icon—how do you feel about that?
Theophilus: It's very flattering, I didn't expect that.
Racked: We hear you're working on a collaboration with Cole Haan—can you tell us a little about how that came about?
Theophilus: They think I'm sexy and I've got taste. They wanted me to be a model, but I wanted to put out a few albums first. So we're making a shoe. People like my taste after seeing my photos, so there's a style element I can bring to the table.
Racked: What's one of your earliest fashion and style memories?
Theophilus: Growing up in Brooklyn, I shopped in Flatbush at Tommy Hilfiger and Guess. I wasn't making my own money at the time. I've made tons of mistakes—sometimes joining trends when they happen or wearing the wrong colors, not feeling comfortable in my clothing, buying wrong jeans that don't really fit.
Racked: What's a color you wouldn't wear?
Theophilus: Lime green.
Racked: What are some of your favorite labels?
Theophilus: I'm not too big a fan of labels, but I really like Raf Simons. I usually shop vintage or deadstock stores and wear all-custom everything. I get my Levi's jeans tailored, my APC jeans tailored. I never buy a piece of clothing and just put it on. People used to only have four or five outfits—but they were all made for those particular people. I'm at that phase. Everything I'm wearing is made for me.
I've started doing clothes in-house—designing my own things. Taking a blazer, adding my own buttons, patches, ornaments, making sequin tank-tops. I started doing this about two months ago and I've really stopped being into brands.
Racked: How did you come up with the idea to make your owns stuff?
Theophilus: I was watching a documentary about Michael Jackson's whole history and life. And I was inspired by the royal family and Princess Diana. they all made their own stuff.
Racked: What inspires your designs?
Theophilus: Old men in Brooklyn wearing hats and aviators.