Pressing Questions

The Gilt MAN Q&A: Theophilus London

The musician and burgeoning style icon talks music, connecting with fans, and the power of foreign currency.
Photo: Getty Images

Double Breasted on stage? #swag

In the spirit of full disclosure, this morning, during a conversation about musicians whose style and sound we admire, a certain Mr. Theophilus London‘s name came up. We’d seen him triumphing the merits of the wide-brimmed fedora alongside Mister Mort in The Times and generally taking a rather inspired individual style path so intrinsically linked to music. We’d seen enough, in fact, that we wanted to hear from the man himself, so we hit him up on, what else, his Twitter. Behold, the power of the Direct Message.

Hey, thanks so much for getting back to me via my rather unorthodox means of requesting an interview.
Yeah, I mean usually my publicists handles stuff like this but, man, I’m just so excited for this album, I just want to get it out there and talk about my music.

On that topic, have you been touring as of late?
Not really, just been promoting this album, meeting people. I’m just back from Cannes and I’m heading to Italy in a little bit.

Cannes? Nice, how was that?
Cannes was good, man. It was everything that my brand is about–luxury, art, women. I had the chance to sit down with Kanye, which was great.

Did you plan out your ensembles? Did you break out the cruise wear?
Nah, it was more just visuals in my head, man. I’ve always had this idea of taking the tank top high end, so I did that. You know, with jaguar print and some black jeans, cause you know jaguar print is really stylish right now. And I wore the loafers I made with Sebago.

With actual pennies in them?
No, I actually had these Scandinavian coins, Swedish coins, because they have a shinier gold. I tried to have these 14 karat pennies made but didn’t get them. I was in Stockholm recently too and got all kinds of coins. I’ve got all kinds of different currency at the crib.

That’s amazing. Also amazing, this exact moment in music. It seems it’s a perfect time for someone that takes control of everything, promotion, outreach, everything outside the traditional record label system.
Oh, man it’s an amazing time. It’s a new era, a movement. It’s a new moment in time. We’re at the pinnacle of this time and that’s basically why I named my album Timez Are Weird These Days (out July 19 on Warner Bros. Records). You know, times are weird. Look at our paths crossing. I can be so personal and talk directly with you and directly with fans. It’s like fans will write me diary entries. I can get direct feedback on what they like, don’t like. It’s first person, I get shit before my public relations people do.

Finally, your style seems to lay at the intersection of various influences, where do you find that inspiration?
I’m always looking. Never not looking. I get inspired everyday and it’s not like a specific man or specific thing. It’s more of a raw energy and spirit. Mainly, I just learned my fit, and I know what’s me. It’s about knowing yourself. Now I walk through a mall or a boutique, find something, know if fits me, and know that it’s me. It’s all memories and spirit.

Timez Are Weird These Days releases July 19th. In the meantime, check out Theophilus London live at the Brooklyn Museum June 10th.

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