Lil Nas X Brings Rainbow Camp to Pride Month

The rapper co-hosted a virtual prom for a new UGG campaign.

lil nas x reclining in a purple outfit
Lil Nas X wearing UGG. Photo by Danielle Levitt.

Lil Nas X, the one-of-a-kind rapper who has taken the entertainment world by storm since releasing his song “Old Town Road” in 2019, defies genres not only when it comes to his musical stylings, but with regards to his fashion sense as well. Soon after his catapult to superstardom, the rapper came out as gay on the last day of Pride Month two years ago, and his most recent single “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” and its accompanying music video released in March, served as an encouraging note to his younger, closeted self. “I know we promised to never come out publicly, I know we promised to never be ‘that’ type of gay person, I know we promised to die with the secret, but this will open doors for many other queer people to simply exist,” he wrote at the time of the song’s release.

It makes perfect sense, then, that a brand like UGG would tap Lil Nas X (as well as model and actress Hari Nef) to promote a gender-inclusive capsule collection, which includes fuzzy Disco Stripe slides in both rainbow (a nod to the rainbow LGBTQ+ pride flag) and pink-and-blue (the colors of the flag that represent the transgender community), hoodies, skirts, and socks. In conjunction with the #UGGPride campaign, a virtual prom starring Lil Nas X, Nef, and LGBTQ youth partnering with the Pacific Pride Foundation was thrown to celebrate “self-identity and love.” The brand will also donate $25 per pair of Disco Stripe slides purchased from their website to GLAAD.

Lil Nas X has never played it safe when it comes to fashion. He takes risks, wears outrageous colors, and starts conversations with just about everything he wears, whether that be a neon pink cowboy hat and matching harness or a Prince-inspired snakeskin tuxedo. Before releasing his next single, “Sun Goes Down,” the rapper called W to give some insight into his inner world, revealing his favorite fashion moment from pop culture history, and why the #UGGPride campaign was such a big deal for him.

Why did you want to get involved in the #UGGPride campaign?

I just thought it was really dope, honestly, that they were doing a Pride campaign, and that they wanted me to be a part of that. Especially stepping into this new era of my life and career, I just thought it was perfect.

Who are the queer icons that you look up to in your industry?

Maybe Sam [Smith]. I like Sam a lot. Kaytranada. There’s nobody whose footsteps I’m trying to follow in, though.

What are your Pride Month plans?

I don’t really have any right now, but I will more than likely go to one of the parades.

You’ve started a lot of conversations with your looks. What’s your favorite fashion moment from pop culture?

From other people?

From anyone, including yourself.

I think my favorite is when Elton John wore the Dodgers outfit. You know what I’m talking about? I love that.

Who is your style icon?

Probably Rihanna.

You take a lot of fashion risks, but is there anything you would never wear?

Hmm. No, I don’t think there is anything that I would 100 percent never wear.

What was your style like as a kid?

T-shirts. It was very normal. Very average kid stuff.

Did you wear UGG shoes as a kid?

You know, I actually used to want them a lot, but I couldn’t afford them. I was definitely into them.

Who gave you the best fashion advice you’ve ever received?

Probably my stylist Hodo Musa, who is a key component of everything I do wear.

What was your first big fashion splurge?

I think around June 2019, when I went into Burberry and got this jacket for no reason.

What’s the oldest piece of clothing you own?

I’d say my jogger pants from when I went to D.C. in ninth grade. I still wear those.

Which friend or designer’s style do you admire the most?

Asher Levine or Christopher John Rogers. I also love Pyer Moss.

Do you have any favorite stores or boutiques?

Not really, because a lot of the things that I do like to wear are usually custom.

What’s your biggest fashion regret?

I wore this all-orange outfit at the Variety Awards in 2019, and it became a meme. It was a thing at first, but I’m kind of okay with it now.

What’s your preferred footwear?

I used to wear Nike Air Max 97s a lot, for casual stuff. Lately, I’ve been wearing Jordans.

Describe your style in three words.

Risky, vibrant, camp.

What’s always in your bag?

Definitely a little Chapstick.

Barb to Barb—what’s the most underrated Nicki Minaj track, in your opinion?

I love “Put You In a Room.” It’s a good bonus track.