Q&A: My Wardrobe

Best foot forward

While rapper Mean is dressed in black on most days, he goes for more dramatic pieces when he is performing.
While rapper Mean is dressed in black on most days, he goes for more dramatic pieces when he is performing.ST PHOTOS: NG SOR LUAN

Rapper Mean has a soft spot for bold and interesting footwear because it adds character to an outfit

Nur Ahmad Muhaimin, aka Mean, 28, rapper, single. His new EP, By Any Means, is available on digital platforms such as Spotify and iTunes.

How would you describe your style?

I would say it is versatile. I dress according to my mood and the occasion. Most days, I'm dressed in black, but on some days, I'm in prints and colour.

When I'm onstage, I take the opportunity to wear more dramatic and louder pieces.

When did your interest in fashion start?

I have liked dressing up since I was a kid, but the obsession started in 2008 when I picked up a Raf Simons (Belgian designer) T-shirt from his spring-summer 2008 collection in Paris.

It was a cotton T-shirt that had an orange and blue mushroom print. When I bought it, I started researching more into the brand's history and its designer and it made me realise that there was a lot more to fashion than just clothes.

Who are your favourite designers and your go-to brands?

I love Raf Simons because his eponymous brand has resonated with me since I was young.

I also like Irish fashion designer Jonathan Anderson, who designs for Loewe, because I find his designs refreshing and perfect for when I am onstage - there are unique prints such as manga and interesting knitted textures.

Also, I like designer Alessandro Michele of Gucci because he brought the Italian brand back to life by launching colourful and flamboyant pieces. I like things that stand out and are different.

Now everyone wants to be dressed in Gucci, including me.

Who are your style icons?

I do not think I have a style icon. I just wear what inspires me. I prefer to be an individual, rather than one who follows trends.

What are your favourite pieces in your wardrobe?

My pair of Loewe fisherman pants (photo 1), which was a gift from the Spanish brand when I attended its store opening at Paragon last year.

I like the huge folded cuff at the ankle - the height of it is almost a quarter of the pants. I also like its roomy cut.

My pouch (photo 2) from French brand Chanel - I like the contrasting stitches which were used on the bag instead of the brand's typical quilted design.

Also, my Raf Simons and American artist Sterling Ruby hand- painted bleached shirt (photo 3) as it is versatile and can be worn on any occasion.

Lastly, my LED platform sneakers (photo 4) from Raf Simons.

I never had shoes that could light up when I was a child, so when I saw these, I had to have them.

I got them for my stage performances so they would light up when I move around.

What are your weaknesses when it comes to shopping?

I have a weakness for unique and bold footwear, such as shoes that have prints or colour. I find that shoes help to add character to a simple outfit.

One example would be my sneaker sandals (photo 5) from French label Lanvin. They are basically sandals with sneaker soles. I love sneakers and to have a sneaker-sandal hybrid is amazing. Plus, they are comfortable.

I do not mind paying a four- to five-figure sum for pieces that I know will last for years.

What is your favourite splurge piece?

It would have to be my Puzzle Bag (photo 6) from Loewe, which I bought two years ago for just under $4,000 and use every day.

I like that it is classic-looking and versatile. It can be worn in six ways, such as a backpack, sling bag or shoulder bag.

Is there a purchase you have regretted?

I do not think I regret buying anything. I usually buy only what I really like and know that I will wear.

What is your most recent fashion purchase?

A pair of rubber-toed Oxford shoes (photo 7) from Prada early this year. I bought it because I think it is a classic and will last. Can I not mention how much it costs? My mum will be reading this.

What is the best shopping or style advice you live by?

Buy what you truly like and not something for the sake of following a trend.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 06, 2017, with the headline 'Best foot forward'. Print Edition | Subscribe