Style Evolution: André 3000

Style Evolution: André 3000

We didn't have Bloods and Crips in Atlanta. In high school, it was fashion kind of gangs. How you dressed or danced was your crew. It was fighting, but looking good while doing it. So there was this huge prep movement where ghetto kids were so into this world that Ralph Lauren had created that we were wearing riding boots to school. Benetton used to make these bags that were shaped to hold tennis rackets. We would wear them to school with a tennis racket inside, having never played tennis in our lives. Never! Those became the weapons in fighting—the tennis rackets."

- André 3000, (2014 ESQUIRE interview)

For almost thirty years, André 3000 has done his own thing. As a teen, Dré and his Tri-Cities High School compatriot Big Boi broke through big with their debut album southernplayalisticadillacmuzik, and set about putting Atlanta on the Hip-Hop map. All these years later, Three Stacks has carved a legacy that refuses to be boxed in. His forays outside of music have led him to launch a fashion line called Benjamin Bixby, become a creative director at Tretorn.

We celebrate the unique style evolution of one Andre Benjamin...

1 of 10

It Ain't Really About Talent

"I don’t care how great you are. I’ve learned, being in the industry, it ain’t really about talent. It’s about—like, it’s 90 percent feeling and timing and 5 percent talent, to be honest. You can be the most talented person in the world, but if you ain’t doing nothing with it and you’re not connecting with the people or you’re not at that moment—it does not matter.”

2 of 10

"He Just Doesn't Care"

"Our kids are so opposite of us. When I was young, it was 'I want new Jordans. I want Ralph Lauren and Polo.' I try to buy my son new clothes and he says, 'Naw, I'm fine. I'll just wear these until they tear up.' He just doesn't care. And I love him for it."

3 of 10

"I'm Mostly a Loner..."

“I’m an only child, so I’m used to being alone, by myself. Even in OutKast I was alone a lot. I’d be alone producing and then hook up with Big Boi. So I’m mostly a loner..."

Andre 3000 of Outkast performs "Hey Ya" at the VH-1 Big In '03.
4 of 10

"Not Really an Outgoing Person"

"Sometimes when you play characters or you put yourself outside yourself, it gives you a freedom to be something else," Dre told The FADER in 2014. "And it's just fun, too, especially if you're not like a really outgoing person. It's funny: my personality is really not a performer's personality. I have to really work at being a performer."

Singer Andre 3000 of Outkast performs at the 46th Annual Grammy Awards held at the Staples Center on February 8, 2004 in Los Angeles, California.
5 of 10

"I'm Done..."

"I was really nervous. So it made me just move really fast. In the 'Hey Ya' video, I didn’t make that shit up like a routine or anything. They were just like, Go! And I’m like, All right. Fuck. [moves fast] And of course that’s what people responded to. And I hated it. So after those times, it was like, All right, I’m done."

6 of 10

"Hood Prep"

"[Hood-prep] was kids that loved rap, they spiced it up and funked it out. I had a copy ofThe Official Preppy Handbook back then, and the shoes in there were penny loafers, Docksiders, and Tretorns. So, okay, we gotta get these Tretorns."

Andre 3000 of OutKast performs on stage at the "Fashion Rocks" concert held at Radio City Music Hall on September 8, 2004 in New York City.
7 of 10

"My First Foray Into Fashion Design"

"[Bill] Bixby [the fashion line] was my first foray into design. To be honest, man, those were the best times of my life. I was traveling to the fabric shows in Paris, I’m flying to Hong Kong, flying to Italy. At one point, I was in Hong Kong, and there was a N.E.R.D. concert, which is Pharrell. And Kanye was playing it, too. So I went to the show, and they were like, “Man, what are you doing out here?”

8 of 10

An Expensive Lesson

"It was an expensive lesson. But I can tell you, it was the best times, the best lessons in my life about my self and creating things.”

9 of 10

"Make It Make Sense"

“Making clothes over the years, learning about the industry, I’ve flown to China and Italy to see the sourcing for the things I’ve made, and every day I’m looking for better ways to make it make sense..."

10 of 10

Daring To Be Different

"Hip-Hop had this image of ‘we don’t wear these types of things’ and I️ knew we wore different clothes."


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2022 Roots Picnic

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Style Evolution: Pharrell

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Style Evolution: André 3000