6 Black Male Celebrities Who Are Breaking All the Rules of Gendered Fashion

billy porter red carpet outfits
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Men can’t wear dresses? Ridiculous! Pearl necklaces are just for women? Absolutely not! Gendered fashion is *so* 2005!
Over the years, male celebrities have been taking more and more chances on the red carpet, embracing gender-bending looks left and right.

And while gender-fluid fashion has historically been associated with queer culture — and for good reason! — there are plenty of heterosexual men who have embraced androgyny and femininity. Think the always-iconic Prince.

Genderqueer fashion has been spotted on celebrities of all races, but it’s the Black male celebrities who are really breaking barriers. In a culture that often uses a strictly traditional definition of masculinity, defying those gender norms is a true act of beauty.

Below, check out some of our favorite Black male celebrities who are redefining what men’s fashion looks like.

1. Billy Porter


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You know we had to include Billy Porter on this list! The incredible actor knows how to make a statement whether he’s rocking velvet gowns and wedding bow ties at the Oscars or white feather capes at the Golden Globes. There’s no doubt that Billy has been a trendsetter for years. It may have taken a while for folks to start appreciating his fashion sense, but now he’s finally getting the credit he’s due.

2. Lil Nas X


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Lil Nas X may be a relative newcomer to the red carpet, but he’s already made his mark. The 23-year-old musician has made big moves rocking a variety of gender-bending looks like his sexy purple suit with a long train at the VMAs and his gorgeous blue and white gown at the BET awards. It’s fair to say this Lil Nas X is one to watch.

3. Kid Cudi


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Rapper Kid Cudi pretty much broke the internet when he rocked a full-on wedding dress — veil and all! — to the CFDA Awards in 2021. The white lace gown was paired with a white blazer, white lace gloves, and white sneakers.

But that wasn’t the first time that Kid Cudi had rocked a dress. He surprised everyone when he performed on SNL earlier that year wearing a floral dress. He said he was inspired by Kurt Cobain and hoped the outfit would give kids the confidence to “be themselves.”

4. Jaden Smith


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Jaden Smith may only be 23 years old, but he’s been breaking barriers for years now. Jaden has never been afraid to embrace both his masculine and feminine sides, mixing and matching as he pleases on the red carpet.

Jaden even launched a gender-fluid clothing line in 2016 called MSFTSrep.

5. Keiynan Lonsdale


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Actor Keiynan Lonsdale, aka Kid Flash, always has a surprise up his sleeve when it comes to his red carpet fashion. Some of his most incredible looks include a white maxi skirt paired with an extra-long gold jacquard blazer at the MTV Movie Awards and his neon butterfly dress paired with a neon yellow turtleneck and neon pink hair at the 2019 Met Gala.

6. Pharrell Williams


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Pharrell Williams has never met a red carpet he can’t master. The multi-talented musician and producer loves to take a risk, even if it doesn’t always pan out (ahem, that 10-gallon hat).

While Pharrell typically opts for a more traditional menswear look in terms of suits vs. dresses, he looks to accessorize with a gorgeous pearl or gemstone necklace. It’s this feminine twist on masculine menswear that makes Pharrell’s outfits so unique.

Pharrell’s love of gender-fluid necklaces even caught the attention of Chanel, with whom he collaborated on a jewelry collection in 2018.


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