Much more talkative on the phone than he was on set, the admittedly introverted 26-year-old, born Shayaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, has a past selling drugs, committing robberies, and getting shot six times—all of which is well documented in his music and past interviews. Also well-documented are his seventh-grade expulsion for gun possession, his prescribed and recreational use of painkillers, and the many personal losses he’s suffered—friends, family members, more friends, more family members. Would it be trivial to start the conversation off with fashion? Perhaps to those who find fashion trivial, but Savage, the self-proclaimed Saint Laurent Don, isn’t one of those people.
“I’ve always wanted to be fresh,” he says. “The way you dress says a lot about you and your character, and I’ve always wanted to represent who I am, even if I wasn’t wearing the most expensive things.” A fan of Gucci, Versace, and Alexander Wang, he describes his style as “unique and very manly” and is quick to opine on fashion’s current more-is-more trend. “People have taken dressing overboard,” he bemoans. “There’s a lot of extra shit going on right now—people wearing too many clothes. I like to be clean; I don’t like to overdo it. It ain’t about how much you got on, it’s about how it looks and how you wear it. Less is more.” If that’s the case, we ask what he’d buy if he were at Barneys but could only leave with one thing.
“That’s a very hard question. I couldn’t just go get a pair of shoes—I would have to get a whole outfit. So if I’m going there to get one thing, it would either be a scented candle or cologne.”
What cologne do you wear?
“I wear a lot of Clive Christian, a lot of Le Labo… I can’t give it all out because, you know, niggas be trying to bite my swag, but Maison [Francis Kurkdjian], Le Labo, and Clive Christian would be my top three. I like a lot of oud wood, that’s my favorite scent.”