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Style Icon: Kurt Cobain

On 10 April, you’ll be able to delve further than ever into the life of Nirvana frontman and seminal grunge icon Kurt Cobain, with the UK release of a new documentary about his life – Kurt Cobain: Montage Of Heck. And guess what we’re delving into to celebrate? Yup, his genre-defining style. 

style icon: kurt cobain

Picture: Getty


In the late 80s, dissatisfied with the glossy consumption of earlier in the decade, a young bedheaded dude from Washington State burst onto the Seattle punk scene and changed the music and fashion industries forever. Too dramatic? Not really. Kurt’s couldn’t-care-less attitude to dressing and public appearances made him the accidental posterboy for the 90s grunge movement he helped create. What’s more, this look is constantly being rehashed and refreshed – those ripped jeans you’ve just copped? That oversized checked shirt? That artfully dishevelled jumper? Yep, Kurt wore them all first.


Look at him here, for example, with wife Courtney Love at the 1993 MTV Music Awards. The Breton top and Converse sneakers are simple and enduring – classics every man should have in his wardrobe. The patched jeans that on some might look try-hard? They look so effortless on him because he actually wasn’t putting any effort into it (this is the man who got married in pyjamas, after all). The bright red sunnies add a nerd-chic touch and a pleasing pop of colour, and the expression of ennui tops off a look that epitomises the grunge movement.