Miguel’s Stylist Jasmine Benjamin Talks ‘How Many Drinks? (Remix)’ Music Video Fashion [Interview]

A still from Miguel’s “How Many Drinks? (Remix)” video featuring Kendrick Lamar.
Photo: ByStorm Entertainment/RCA Records

There are stylish musicians, and then there’s Miguel. This dude is a real fashion force to be reckoned with, thanks to his uniquely on-point uniform (pompadour, biker jacket, t-shirt, check!) to his rockabilly-meets-hip-hop onstage influences. It didn’t take long before our eyeballs became used to seeing the soulful crooner crank up his trademark slick style in videos like “Adorn,” but now he’s taking it to the next level in the new vid for “How Many Drinks (Remix)” featuring Kendrick Lamar. Seriously, though, does it get any better than HEAD-TO-TOE Saint Laurent?! In this case, no way. We already know Miguel’s a huge fan of Hedi Slimane, but rarely do we land the opportunity to witness the French label’s Nehru collar shirts and Cuban heels in action, not to mention on one of our favorite musicians (accompanied by a swoonworthy soundtrack, no less!). Luckily, the singer’s stylist Jasmine Benjamin was here to dish on ALL the super-luxe fashion stuff crammed into this glossy 4-minute clip. So get the scoop below!

MTV STYLE: Miguel’s always had slick music videos, but this one is insane. Tell us a little bit about the style concept behind the clip.

Jasmine: The whole concept was based off of Miguel wanting to do a performance video for the remix version of the song. He really wanted to showcase his style and rockstar sensibility in a less casual way, by pulling out all the stops and just going high fashion. The clothing Miguel wears always add such a crucial element to his show; we aimed to play off of that and make it a juxtaposition with the song and make it this really big performance piece.

How do you and Miguel work together to come up with the ideas behind a video like this?

Miguel is on tour all the time, so we’re constantly emailing references to each other, like, “Did you see this collection?!” “Remember when David Bowie did this?” It’s like these little remote brainstorm sessions. We’re both huge fans of Saint Laurent and I’ve been dying to dress Miguel in the first collection, so this was our chance to do it head-to-toe. It was super exciting.

A still from Miguel’s “How Many Drinks? (Remix)” video featuring Kendrick Lamar.
Photo: ByStorm Entertainment/RCA Records

I agree, the collection’s very “Miguel.”

Yes, and it all fits together so well. The look where he’s performing on stage consists of Saint Laurent Cuban heels, jacket, shirt, chain, and wallet, and then Levi’s jeans. The second scene he’s wearing the same Cuban heels, and this amazing Nehru collar shirt— it’s so cool, it’s not a typical straight collar, but it’s jagged. The leather jacket is by BLK Denim, but the entire aesthetic is inspired by Saint Laurent.

What do you think it is about Saint Laurent in particular that’s so compelling for musicians?

Hedi’s aesthetic is pure rock ’n roll. If you love classic rock as much as we do, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, then you know you’re going to love what he’s making. Especially his first collection, it’s just so right for men.

A still from Miguel’s “How Many Drinks? (Remix)” video featuring Kendrick Lamar.
Photo: ByStorm Entertainment/RCA Records

Kendrick and Miguel’s style plays off each other so well in this video. Did you work with Kendrick’s stylist?

Actually, not as much as you might think. We wanted to make sure both guys had their own style, but ensuring that everyone in the video was wearing black and white. We chose the color palette because it would really pop with all the interesting lighting, especially the red.

How do you keep Miguel’s style fresh every video?

The great thing about Miguel is he likes to take risks. With that, it’s endless. I mean, he’s wearing Cuban heels! What man in 2013 is doing that? [laughing] So he’s willing to try new things, but we’re always keeping it consistent with his brand and who he is. We have so much stuff that’s inspiring us right now, it’s almost like we have backlog of influences that we’re dying to use. We always can’t wait to do the next thing.


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