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Erykah Badu's Life in Looks features a range of strong black and African designers

Musician Erykah Badu – as Badu told Vogue, “she’s sick” – and she’s been through it – will reshape as the backbone of her decades-long career. From her acclaimed debut in , the star has embraced the Afro-centric stylish personal form. In Vogue

‘s new Life in Looks video, Badu revisits some of her most iconic outfits over the years and shares the inspiration behind her often self-designed and curated outfits some secrets.

Badu’s 1999 neo-soul masterpiece Baduizm album cover is go first. “I love the look,” Badu said of the photo, taken by photographer Marc Baptiste. In it, the singer covers her face from viewers, with her large camouflage hood taking center stage. “I’m a warrior,” Badu says of the unique print. A year later, Badu will appear on the long-running children’s show

Sesame Street, while donning a patchwork version. The dress quickly became a personal trademark. “Stitching is really important to me in fashion,” Badu explains of her glamour. “Because it’s not so much the patch itself as the thread that weaves them together.”

The following year, at 1997, Badu appeared in Vogue for the first time wearing a striking black gown by Harlem-born designer Epperson. Badu then set his sights on black and African designers. “I don’t wear ‘name brand’ designer clothes,” she said. “I only wear black designers from New York, Dallas, or Atlanta. I want to make sure I use my platform to be an advocate for young designers.”

Over time , Badu will expand her clothing range to include more mainstream luxury designers and labels. Case in point: the 1999 Met Gala, where she attended with Riccardo Tisci, then the creative director of Givenchy. For the occasion, Badu donned one of her signature toddler-sized bowler hats, an embellished coat, and a black jumpsuit underneath. It wasn’t Badu’s only stunning appearance at the star-studded fashion gala. In 1999, she is joined by Marni creative director Francesco Risso (the two recently collaborated on a collaboration). She wore a colorful patchwork suit from Marni—in long, ankle-length beaded braids.




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