Don't underestimate Jimmy Buffett's influence on style
The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Saturday, July 20, 2024


Don't underestimate Jimmy Buffett's influence on style
Jimmy Buffett at the Marquis Theatre, to promote his musical “Escape to Margaritaville” in New York, Dec. 8, 2017. Buffett, the singer, songwriter, author, sailor and entrepreneur whose roguish brand of island escapism on hits like “Margaritaville” and “Cheeseburger in Paradise” made him something of a latter-day folk hero, especially among his devoted following of so-called Parrot Heads, died on Friday, Sept. 1, 2023. He was 76. (Aaron Richter/The New York Times)

by Guy Trebay



NEW YORK, NY.- Odds are the world of capital-F fashion never gave a moment’s thought to Jimmy Buffett, the bard of Margaritaville, who died Friday at 76. Yet the truth is the undisputed king of easy-listening yacht rock probably exerted as much influence on style as any designer that ever sent a model down a runway in a jacket with three sleeves.

It is not just a matter of the crazily festooned novelty hats his fans — known as Parrot Heads — sported at his shows. Buffett, a singer, songwriter, entrepreneur and bestselling author, took a form of laid-back dressing instantly recognizable to anyone who ever hung around a boatyard and made it mainstream both at home and abroad. Not for Buffett the hippie-adjacent suedes and leathers of his musical contemporaries, nor even the standard-issue double-denim get-ups preferred by pop folk idols of his age, people like James Taylor or Jackson Browne.

A lifelong waterman, Buffett spent his early days propping up bars in Key West, Florida. Like many before him, he was quick to adopt the locals’ casual garb. Nobody wears uniforms on Key West, unless you think of a uniform as Bermuda shorts in Easter egg colors; low-slung, faded khakis; flip-flops; and short-sleeved shirts with raucous patterns and squared-off tails.

The raggedy straw hats or duck-billed oysterman caps of the sort Papa Hemingway once wore on Florida’s bonefishing flats were all Buffett staples, part of an image cannily cultivated by an entertainer who, while evangelizing for leisure, built a personal fortune on themed restaurants, casinos, hotels and cruises. Though the company is privately held, by most accounts his branding savvy made him a billionaire.

So readily identifiable are the elements of that brand that the internet is awash in suggestions on how to strike the right “festival attitude’’ for a Jimmy Buffett concert or Jimmy Buffett party and instructions for groomsmen and bridesmaids on what to wear for a Jimmy Buffett-themed wedding. Apparel companies like Marine Layer, founded just over a decade ago in California by Michael Natenshon, started out with the clear intention of making clothes so casual they looked as if they were fished from the back of the closet. If you riffle through the stock at any of Marine Layer’s 40 stores, you inevitably feel you have wandered into Jimmy Buffett’s life.

There are faded shorts in pinwale corduroy with 6-inch inseams a lot like those produced by Jim Jenks when he founded his wildly influential surfwear brand Ocean Pacific (Buffet wore them onstage) in 1972. That, of course, was around the time Buffett was recording his second album, “A White Sport Coat and a Pink Crustacean.’’ Posed on a fishing boat for the cover, Buffett wore bell-bottom denims and a broad-brimmed Stetson. By the time raunchy tunes like “Grapefruit-Juicy Fruit’’ and “Why Don’t We Get Drunk’’ became barfly anthems, Buffett had already shed the hat (and, eventually, the hair beneath it), trading his slick denims for outfits so aggressively understated it seemed as if the big wardrobe choice of his day was whether to go commando.

“He didn’t identify with fashion statements per se,’’ said Kevin McLaughlin, a co-founder of the prepwear mini-empire J. McLaughlin and driving force behind the reenvisioned heritage label Quaker Marine Supply. “But he set a standard and had an influence in that if you’re cool and you’re comfortable in your own skin, it’s almost impossible to be underdressed.’’

Case in point: Buffett’s decision to pick up an honorary doctorate in music from the University of Miami in 2015 wearing flip-flops and sunnies with his cap and gown. “Our industry rewards elegance and style,’’ said McLaughlin. “Jimmy took the reverse approach, based on a level of self-confidence.’’

Call it nonchalance, sprezzatura or swagger — that offhand assurance is a quality too little appreciated by contemporary fashion, where the benchmark of critical success is often looking overdressed, overthought, overwrought. Buffett, who divided his time among residences in Sag Harbor, New York; Palm Beach, Florida; and the Caribbean island of St. Barts, moved in sophisticated, worldly circles and was a far cry from the parody of a yacht bum.

Yet he retained the cool he developed as one in a coterie of writers of the raucous, drug-addled Key West literary scene of the 1970s.

In a documentary short about that time, “All That Is Sacred,” that premiered at this year’s Telluride Film Festival, writer Thomas McGuane, who is married to Buffett’s sister Laurie, said he had suggested to his brother-in-law that he write a song about those days called “Last Man Standing-ville.” “That’s too close for comfort,” Buffett replied, prophetically as it turned out.

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.










Today's News

September 4, 2023

Hezbollah sanctions case highlights frailties in the art market

Jimmy Buffett, singer whose 'Margaritaville' became anthem and empire, is dead at 76

A panorama of design

How an engraver straddles the centuries

Object permanence: Design classics of the future

Honoring Korean culture, selling perfume

After doubts about Puglia, a designer comes around

Perrotin opens artist Emi Kuraya's first solo show in Paris

Templon opens an exhibition of works by Jonathan Meese

Sheetrit & Wolf Gallery opens an exhibition of statues by Avner Levinson

Dreweatts appointed to sell collection of interior decorator and collector Robert Kime

Keeping it in the family: Generations of expectations for these design brands

Andréhn-Schiptjenko announced the opening of Siobhán Hapaska exhibition

William Turner Gallery to show new large-scale works by Andy Moses

Carriage clock owned by famous horticulturist heads to auction

Don't underestimate Jimmy Buffett's influence on style

Venice Film Festival: All your questions about Bradley Cooper's 'Maestro' answered

Channeling her anger, Ghada Amer looks to the future

Lost letter penned by literary genius Dr Samuel Johnson discovered in Gloucestershire country house

An unexpected hotbed of YA authors: Utah

Norman Pfeiffer, bicoastal architect of civic spaces, dies at 82

Reeling from heartbreak, and then 'Penelope' showed up

In Key West, where Buffett met his muse, the tributes flow

A Nicaraguan novelist betrayed by the revolution he helped build

Mastering Lawn Care: Common Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Embracing the Aesthetics: The Art of Interior Design




Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 



Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez
Writer: Ofelia Zurbia Betancourt

Attorneys
Truck Accident Attorneys
Accident Attorneys

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org juncodelavega.com facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site Parroquia Natividad del Señor
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful