The man, the music, the talent, the legend. But less addressed yet almost equally important: the style icon. Miles Davis was one of the greatest jazz composers, trumpeter and pianist of his time and for the generations that would supersede him. Born to an affluent family in Chicago, Davis went on to study music under New York's Juilliard School of Music directly out of high school before dropping out to play professionally with the likes of Charlie Parker and other phenomenal jazz leaders before commanding records and the stage on his own.
From the start of Davis' iconic career, the jazz great honed in on his personal style, wearing custom three-piece suits or crisp button-ups with tailored dress pants. As his career and talents evolved so did his wardrobe. Funk singer and brief partner Betty Davis would introduce him to Jimi Hendrix and Sly Stone, which influenced a more laid back, cool style for the musician. For Miles Davis, even comfortable loungewear was worn with careful detail and attention, often draping a blue handkerchief around his neck to accompany a knit sweater with chinos and oxfords. Davis always kept a steely gaze only slightly hidden behind sunglasses, and a cigarette chicly propped between his lips while he intently played on stage. Even in the confines of a recording studio Davis could be found in perfectly fitting cotton shirts neatly tucked into linen pants before changing into more vibrant ensembles borrowed from Haight-Ashbury of the Paris fashion scenes to dominate the stage.
Miles Davis would have been the brilliant musician, the legend that he is and was today regardless of his wardrobe convictions. Maintaining such effortless, classic and personal style throughout his life and career however, only makes him that much more memorable.