Magazine article The New Yorker

Torso

Magazine article The New Yorker

Torso

Article excerpt

Iggy Pop, who was once known as the Godfather of Punk and who now, at sixty-three, might better be called the Grandfather of Punk, was at Barneys Co-Op last week, promoting a new line of T-shirts bearing his image. Hiring Pop to sell shirts seems an incongruity on the order of hiring Michael Stipe to sell styling gel: his is the most celebrated bare torso in rock and roll, those of Mick Jagger and Jim Morrison notwithstanding, and neither age nor gravity has curbed Pop's preference for being stripped naked to the waist.

"I don't wear shirts, it's true," Pop said. "Though when I want to go out for a nice dinner with my wife, I favor a Brioni." At Barneys, he was shirtless, though not topless: he wore a cream-colored suit by Dolce & Gabbana, customized with buttons by Chrome Hearts, and a black vest by Versace. A slash of exposed chest looked not so much tanned as cured, like unsliced bresaola. His face, always gaunt and high-cheekboned, now looks like that of an actor playing a Native American elder in a nineteen-fifties Western. His hair, once black and cropped, is now blond, soft and wispy, like that of a toddler yet to have his first trim. His pubic hair, he volunteered, is also blond. "Because I go nude a lot," he said. For the past decade, Pop has lived near Miami, where he is able to go shirtless year-round.

To complement his cultivated shirtlessness, Pop has generally favored jeans. "In the sixties, I used to wear really cheap ones called Male," he said. "They were so cool. They had the Continental pocketnever diagonal, literally just a slit. And I didn't realize it at the time, but they were cut tight in the crotch. Now I'll wear a pair of whatever anyone gives me. I have Versace, Chrome Hearts, Varvatos, Vans." Onstage, where he still appears around thirty times a year, he likes a little stretch in his denim. "My wife bought two pairs of LVs four or five years ago, and they still stand up," he said. "They do quality. But you feel kind of funny wearing poncy French jeans." Pop admitted to being perplexed by the trend, among young men, of wearing jeans very low, a look that he in some sense pioneered. "If somebody has a nice ass crack, then I am always interested to have a look at it that's the simian in me," he said. …

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