Erykah Badu’s Influence Described By Questlove, Puma Curry, Thom Browne, And More

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Erykah Badu is just one of the celebrities presently proving that you’re never too old to reinvent yourself. As she quickly approaches her 52nd birthday, the Texas-born singer sat down with Vogue to discuss her “second coming” for the fashion magazine’s March issue. Aside from sharing her own thoughts, the outlet also spoke with several of Badu’s past collaborators and family members to truly capture the essence of her ethereal persona.

“The Healer” hitmaker’s unique style keeps fans talking. However, she says that’s not a world she dove into until her 30s and 40s. “What I had was a good understanding of look and shape, the way I did with paper dolls when I was a child,” she explained of her experience with fashion in her younger years.

Erykah Badu is seen during Milan Fashion Week Womenswear Spring/Summer 2023 on September 24, 2022 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Arnold Jerocki/GC Images)

“For me, it’s about seeing things coming together, like making a cake from beginning to end,” Badu went on. As her personal style continues to evolve, the mother of three has built strong working relationships with several top designers. Among them are Marni’s creative director, Francesco Risso, and Thom Browne.

The former says he was a huge fan of the vocalist’s process when they built a capsule collection together. “I’ve worked with celebrities in the past [but] with Erykah, it’s a completely new world… It’s just so innate. With her, it’s not just about making music. She’s iconic because what comes with her is a lifestyle, it’s a complete world.”

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In the same story, Vogue quotes The Roots frontman Questlove’s thoughts upon seeing Badu at the 1996 Soul Train Awards in Los Angeles. “She had on the tallest turban I’ve ever seen in my life,” the producer recalls. “It was like she was hiding a three-year-old standing on her head, that’s how tall her headwrap was. I was just transfixed.” As for the “Tyrone” artist, she felt as though her fashion at the time was “really embracing what it meant to be an African here, generationally.”

The daughter she shares with The D.O.C., Puma, also spoke with Vogue about her mother’s undeniably strong influence. The 18-year-old and her boyfriend, Sean, have served as Badu’s personal assistants for upwards of a year now. At the same time, the singer’s daughter has been working double-time as a stylist, ensuring the performer has the “15 to 20 trunks of clothing and accessories she needs on tour.”

“I don’t know how other family workplace dynamics go, but it’s like a real job. I have to buckle down and do what I need to do or else word is going to get to the CEO and I’m not going to get paid. You know what I mean?” Puma dished off her responsibilities. Read Erykah Badu’s full Vogue profile here, and check back later for more pop culture news updates.

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