One of the things that I love about Neymar Jr – besides his talent and daring style now crowned with a pink ’do – is the fact that he is a man who is not shy of showing his emotions. Have you checked the YouTube video “Goals That Made Neymar Jr Cry,” viewed almost 1.2 million times? In this moment when we are all going through such tough times together – with Covid-19 pushing us physically further apart – it is more important than ever to be loving, without the fear of being vulnerable. Many say that boys don’t cry, but it is time to leave that nonsense behind us and, as men, connect to our inner sensitivity. We don’t need to act like Rambo all the time. Call your friends, your family, and say you love them.
This softer masculinity – in my opinion, much braver than the traditional idea of how a man should behave – is also celebrated in the season ahead, and naturally in our fashion pages. This summer, tease with an Alexander McQueen fuchsia suit, Celine glitter-covered shoes, or with a dramatic Lanvin shirt, printed with flower motifs. One of my closest friends, architect Dino Gonçalves, is a true master in this art of carefree mixing and matching, and sometimes dresses in a quite outrageous way, in line with his quirky personality. Whenever I ask him what made him wear a polka dot shirt, tied with a big bow, and accessorized with pearl necklaces, he always answers, “Why not?”
Regionally, this sense of confidence is also growing in the homegrown labels, with brands such as Talal Hizami or 2d2c2m moving away from what is traditionally expected from them: serious doses of bling and exaggerated luxury just because that’s how the world perceives Arabia. “Middle Eastern representation within the streetwear industry is largely limited,” the creative director of Omani brand Flaws tells us. “This allows a space for brands to showcase our creativity from an entirely new angle.” Looking at the cool and contemporary designs showcased in Street Cred (p36), I can’t help but to also say, why not?
Originally published in the Spring/Summer 2020 issue of Vogue Man Arabia