Pret-a-Reporter

Justin Bieber Has a New Look in Super Bowl Ad: Is He Timberlake-ing?

YouTube/T-Mobile
Justin Bieber in the T-Mobile Super Bowl commercial.

It's a fresh investigation.

Who's that boy?

Justin Bieber's new Super Bowl ad for T-Mobile shows the 22-year-old looking pretty spiffy in a fitted black tuxedo, oversize spectacles and a fresh buzz cut. This Bieber 3.0 got us thinking of the style trajectory of another popular Justin: one Mr. Timberlake.

Ah, you remember Timberlake in his ramen-hair *NSYNC heyday (think: purple-tinted shades, stone-washed denim-on-denim and — our personal favorite — those slinky turtlenecks, which he styled with heavy chains and arm candy by the name of Britney Spears).

Timberlake circa 2000 was the ultimate pop star (anyone who says otherwise is obviously a Backstreet Boys sympathizer and not to be trusted), but that image flipped from tween heartthrob to bonafide (read: legal) sex object when he released "Sexy Back" in 2006 and traded in his leather pants and yellow coils for a buttoned-up look and shaved head. Timberlake's image has been all up since then, with "Suit and Tie" ushering in the beautiful Tom Ford era. 

But back to the Biebs. His transformation (thanks to longtime stylist Karla Welch) from bleach-blond, low-slung everything tween star to streetwear-savvy young adult wearing Fear of God hoodies and Nirvana tees has been well documented.

The T-Mobile ad feels like another giant step. It is just a tad gimmicky (denoted by giant "nerd" specs and a perky bow tie that would make Bill Nye's heart smile) for the sake of Bieber's Chris Harrison-esque role in the commercial, but his custom Dior Homme tux and patent Saint Laurent boots don't lie. The tailored look, which covers his full tattoo sleeves, reveals a more polished, mature side of the "Sorry" singer, which lets his charisma shine. (Seriously, who knew he could be so charming?)

Could this be the beginning of a new era? Fingers crossed. 

Watch the ad spot below: 

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