Bad Bunny, with his Rugrats meets mall-goth style, was a style heavyweight in the thriving trap en Español scene way before he was teaming up with Drake and Cardi B. But, right on time with his come-up in the English-speaking world—and his five Billboard-charting hits in the past 12 months—he’s evolved from the hypebeast swagster of his brooding “Soy Peor” video to a polymorphous fashion risk-taker with a penchant for nail polish, ‘00s logomania and thigh-baring shorts. He wears the most outré styles with nonchalance as if saying “so what?” in a look.
His taste is a colorful mesh of influences. There’s a James Brown-via-André 3000 approach to Bad Bunny’s statement formalwear with a street twist—he might top an embellished Gucci two-piece with Willy Wonka shades and a fade like a Walnut Whip. At other times, you might be reminded of U.S. hip-hop’s new wave of Hot Topic disciples or even the late Mexican cantor Juan Gabriel’s Liberace-rivalling instincts for opulent stagewear.
Seen through Bad Bunny’s teeny-tiny tinted sunglasses, though, those inspirations merge to create looks that consistently feel refreshing and fun. Sure, his style invites absurd comparisons to, say, a character in A Goofy Movie or a concha. But for what it’s worth, it feels more refreshing to see male pop stars looking like cartoons or baked goods than like they just walked out of a Banana Republic ad. Scroll on for a round-up of the looks that prove he was music’s most refreshing new style voice in 2018.