Steve McQueen - Style Icon
Nicknamed “The King of Cool” it would be foolish to not give Steve McQueen special attention. His flawlessly mixed persona of masculine, all American bad boy meets steely cool sensitive gent makes him a timeless icon and a role model for all guys who want to epitomise what it is to be a well turned out no nonsense mans man.
His box office draw (making him the highest-paid film star of his time) came in the 1960’s and 70’s at the height of Vietnam counterculture were he developed an anti-hero persona in such iconic film as The Magnificent Seven, The Great Escape, Tower Inferno and The Thomas Crown Affair. He also received an Academy Award Nomination for his stella performance in The Sand Pebbles.
As a method actor McQueen took every role seriously taking it upon himself to embody his characters completely. That sense of dedication and commitment has made his performances timeless and believable. Steve McQueen’s sense of engagement and loyalty to his profession made his bi-polar wardrobe work so well. From casual care free lad on a motorbike (Great Escape), to a perfectly turned out gent (The Thomas Crown Affair) he looked effortless, confidently self-assured and cool.
An ex-military man and keen racer, McQueen supported him self though acting school competing in motorcycle races and was famed for being his own stunt man. This military back ground and dare evil person came though in some of his most heroic roles like in Tower Inferno.
It was however The Thomas Crown Affair that gave Steve McQueen his sartorial style status, moving from renegade masculine hero to mysterious and polished anti-hero and dangerous playboy. The film was particularly memorable for its glamorous love interest, Miss Faye Dunaway and the heavily stylised sets, locations and fashion.
His look had a split personality, but this gave McQueen the edge. He was a chameleon who had the charm and charisma to pull off anything, becoming the perfected rugged bad boy meets Ivy League cognisor. He excelled at taking classic American sportswear and giving it a rugged, masculine edge and his many trademark styles included Aviators or Persol’s, slim-cut tailored suits, windbreakers, button-down shirts and shawl-collared cardigans, as well as the odd polo. His love to motorsports meant he loved clothing he could get down and dirty in too, such as racing jackets, white cotton T-shirts, leather jackets, gloves and boots.
Genuine and self assured he boasted a rugged and boisterous personality, with great charisma and charm which proved to make him unstoppable. He was a man deemed so iconic for his style that Rolex named their high-spec Explorer watch after him – officially branding it the McQueen Rolex and he was also the first man to ever appear on the cover of Harpers Bazaar.
If that isn’t worthy of being a style icon we don’t know what is, but he certainly remains the King of Cool and the perfect role model for all men.