Big Sean's Stylist Talks "Tony Montana" White Jacket Grammy Look

Jason Merritt/Getty Images for NARAS
Big Sean

Ade Samuel says she "wanted something with ease but still sharp and stylish" for the rapper. Mission accomplished.

Big Sean is more known for his signature vintage concert tees than his red-carpet suits. He once told Billboard of the collection he’s been amassing since 2012, "Other rappers might rock Wu Tang shirts, but you’ll never see them rocking a Waiting to Exhale tee."

Sartorial expectations might soar, however, thanks to his appearance at the Grammys on Monday night in a white Z Zegna contrast lapel jacket. Though Sean lost out on the best rap/sung collaboration category to Kendrick Lamar, he was one of the red-carpet winners. Here, his stylist, Ade Samuel, explains the look.

What was inspiration for Sean's look? 

I was inspired by so many things but mainly, I wanted something with ease but still sharp and stylish for him. I drew references for the look from Al Pacino's famous character Tony Montana in Scarface, adding a shirt with a bigger collar to a jacket with a smaller lapel and leaving the shirt opened to give character to the outfit. I feel like with the Grammys, you can always have a little fun while being formal!

Was he receptive to the idea? 

It's always a collaborative process when choosing a look for an award show with a client. What's nice with Sean is that he was open to the idea of the white-on-white with the contrast black tux pants because it was a direction with suiting that he has not done yet. And because he understands fashion it was no convincing him. Once we tried the suit and noticed it was a moment because it fit him nicely and the color was perfect for his tone, we immediately knew this would be the one.

What is it about Sean's style that you knew this look would work on him?

I like the ease of Sean's natural style, you can always tell by his off-the-carpet looks that he understands how to play with clothes and likes to take risks. So I knew he would be open to trying something fresh and having fun at the Grammys.

SO SUAVE: Big Sean on the 2016 Grammys red carpet. (Photo: Getty Images)

Tell us about the accessories. 

The shoes were the first accessory I chose to complete the look before deciding on the direction for jewelry. I find it to be a better technique as a stylist to start there and then build with jewelry afterwards. In this case, we chose a black patent-leather loafer from Giuseppe Zanotti with a gold detailing on the shoes. With that color scheme, we went with gold tones for jewelry to give the suit that final touch for glam. He was wearing earrings and rings by Neil Lane, bracelet by Jason of Beverly Hills and a watch from Rolex.

What is it about a guy in a white jacket — also seen last night on Tyrese and Justin Bieber — that looks so amazing? 

I think it's the simplicity and sharpness of white jackets that makes it scream chic and classic. A white jacket can take any look that you wear and wake it up. For Sean, playing with the idea of the white blazer with the white shirt and contrasting black pants was to bring life to a formal tuxedo look by adding an element that stands out from the rest, hence eliminating a standard tie and keeping the shirt a bit undone.