How to Wear Giambattista Valli x H&M like Kindness

Clashing textures, bare skin and womenswear mixed with menswear. See how pop genius Adam Bainbridge, aka Kindness, takes on the Giambattista Valli x H&M collection.

A black sequin suit, delicate silk shirts and high-waist leather pants in red — the Giambattista Valli x H&M collection and British pop star Kindness are a match made in heaven.

Over the last decade, Adam (who recently changed preferred pronoun to they) has been a part in shaping what the modern world sounds like. From their groundbreaking 2012 debut “World, You Need a Change of Mind,” to the beautiful “Otherness” in 2014, to renowned collabs with Solange, Blood Orange and Robyn. With their brand new album “Something Like a War,” they have yet again proven to be at the forefront of pop music — and we dare to say that the same goes for their style. Sometimes flamboyant, often unique, always fashionable.

“My style has always been very androgynous. I like mixing womenswear with menswear, and I think that a big part of being a performer is that it allows space to wear quite glam or seemingly eccentric pieces of clothing,” Adam says when we meet in New York to chat about things of importance — style, identity, inspiration and hair.

“I enjoy the fact that this has become, in some ways, the new normal for me. Not that I would dress in a particularly beige way in my days off stage either, I’ve really come to enjoy shapes and silhouettes.”

WHERE DO YOU FIND YOUR STYLE INSPIRATION?
“In the street, in the creative parts of the cities I visit, amongst other musicians that I spend time with. I’m deliberately trying not to say the Internet. It feels strange to be part of the problem of the feedback loop that happens if everyone is getting their inspiration from the same place.”

WHY ARE CLOTHES IMPORTANT?
“To me there’s real joy and potential in the self-expression that comes from wearing clothes. Music goes hand-in-hand with art, which goes hand-in-hand with fashion, which somewhat goes hand-in-hand with cinema or literature or food. It’s all basically different forms of the same ideas, they’re just expressed differently.”

YOUR HAIR IS A SIGNATURE LOOK IN ITSELF —­ TELL US ITS STORY?  
“We weren’t allowed to have long hair at school, but when I went to university I let it grow. The last time I had it short was ten years ago, after a disastrous visit to one of the salons on Oxford Street where hairdressers-to-be could work on their skills. I got assigned a young man who tried to convince me to get a mohawk, politely declined and assured him that I just wanted my ends cut. Two hours later I had an extreme undercut with a thin layer of long stripes lying flat against my skull.”

“The next week I went to New York, and a friend who happens to be a hairdresser explained to me what I already knew: that I had to cut it all off. And you know what? The following years were actually the worst of my life. I don’t know if I believe in the myth of Samson and Delilah, but it really felt like something important had been taken away from me.”

The Giambattista Valli x H&M collection will be sold at hm.com and in selected stores starting November 7.


THE TEAM
PHOTOGRAPHY Hedvig Jenning | Mink Mgmt
STYLING Herin Choi
HAIR & MAKEUP Holly Gowers | Atelier Management
PHOTO ASSISTANTS John Temones, Ian Hoogenboom

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