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Karamo Brown says his style is “always influenced by hip-hop”.
The ‘Queer Eye’ star attributes his coming-of-age during the blossoming of rap music videos on MTV as very influential to his fashion choices.
The 41-year-old television personality told Vanity Fair: “My style is always influenced by hip-hop. I turned 20 in 2000, and so in high school, the emergence of MTV and hip-hop coming up and being popular culture and all those stars, they’ve always influenced me. Message tees [are] something that [have] always been popular in the Black community, talking about funerals to beyond. It’s always been like, put a message on the shirt.”
The star – who takes a lot of the emotional labour on the Netflix makeover show and forms the Fab Five with Tan France, Jonathan Van Ness, Bobby Berk and Antoni Porowski – opts for more affordable options for people to “cry right on”.
Karamo said: “I’m usually around 99 per cent of the time where people start to let the feelings out…I’m not buying a $400, $500 shirt for somebody to cry on. I’m not doing it. You can cry right on this $17 T-shirt that I wear.”
In the latest season, he broadcasted his love of slogan tops to create a t-shirt that reads ‘Black History is More Than Slavery” – that is being sold for $26 in aid of the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund and True Colors United.
Karamo explained: “I wear that [T-shirt] a lot to kind of say it’s more than that. So if you, if every time you talk about Black history, the first thing you talk about is slavery, there’s an issue. Talk about it, yes. Acknowledge it, yes. We need to address what brought us there and the things that happened, but just know there is more to Black and African culture than just being slaves.”
Karamo added: “White people will come up to me and, and ask me about it. That’s really what I love. One of the things that we know about the pandemic is it is not the responsibility of that person who’s been marginalized or been beaten down to have to feel like they have to educate. But for me, for me alone, and I’m always clear on that, I don’t mind, I feel like part of my purpose of my role in this world is to educate. It’s part of what I’ve been given the patience and the opportunity to say, ‘I got a little time for you.'”