The Shoot: DJ Cassidy's Accessory Collection Will Make You Jealous
The DJ — who has spun for the likes of Anna Wintour and President Obama — shares his collection of brooches, sneakers and signature white boater hat.
If you were a guest at President Obama’s fiftieth birthday or inauguration celebrations, Jay Z and Beyonce’s wedding, or Oprah Winfrey’s 2007 New Year’s Eve bash in South Africa, then you’re most likely already addicted to DJ Cassidy’s catchy beats.
From supporting the likes of Usher and Timberlake on tour, to DJing the world’s most exclusive affairs for everyone from Anna Wintour to Pharrell Williams, Cassidy, 34, has been on the music world’s speed-dial since Sean Diddy Combs spied the then-18-year-old at a nightclub in New York in 2001, spinning hits from the late ’70s and early ’80s.
His latest single, “Kill the Lights” with guitarist Nile Rodgers and Alex Newell is currently featured on the soundtrack of HBO’s Vinyl, airing again this Sunday, April 17.
SHARP DRESSER: DJ Cassidy at EP & LP in West Hollywood. (Photo: Sami Drasin for Pret-a-Reporter)
But just as remarkable as his dance-party music is his carefully curated aesthetic that pays homage to Cassidy’s music and fashion icons, the members of Run-D.M.C. and Michael Jackson. The obsession goes back to Cassidy’s early childhood, as evidenced by a kindergarten class picture. “I am in the middle wearing all-red Converse Chuck Taylors, red pants rolled up really short because I wanted to be like Michael Jackson, and a red Mickey Mouse sweater. Red, red, red, I would wear that outfit all the time.”
Today that fascination manifests itself in more calculated ways as part of Cassidy’s head-to-toe ensembles, including his fondness for standout accessories. Take, for instance, Cassidy’s hats — also a wardrobe staple for Jackson and Run-D.M.C.’s Jam Master J.
TWEED DETAIL: Bold red pairs perfectly with pearlescent buttons. (Photo: Sami Drasin for Pret-a-Reporter)
After experimenting with fedoras, Cassidy graduated to white boaters, which are now his topper of choice — a straw one for the summer months and a custom-made fur model for the winter, with interchangeable bands. “I might have 20 of the same hat with different bands,” explains Cassidy, who sources his headgear from New York’s Flamekeepers Hat Club. “My hat collection isn’t what most people imagine it to be.”
But there’s plenty of variety to be found in his brooch collection, another throwback to Jackson’s fashion sensibility. “If you go back from 1979 to 1989 and look at any photo of Michael Jackson you can find of him wearing a red double-breasted blazer, wearing a cardigan sweater, wearing a military jacket — 9 out of 10 times, he’s wearing a brooch,” says the DJ.
BROOCHES ON BROOCHES: A look at DJ Cassidy's personal collection. (Photo: Sami Drasin for Pret-a-Reporter)
The same goes for Jackson’s fascination with crests, another style pointer Cassidy picked up from the King of Pop. “Some say his initials, some have crowns, some are traditional British crests and I appropriated that from him and there are crests on all my cricket sweaters and cardigans.”
A self-professed former sneakerhead (a collection of 200 to 300 pairs of shoes from Cassidy’s high-school and early college years is gathering dust back at his mother’s house), Cassidy’s current footwear of choice harkens back to Run-D.M.C. in the form of white, shell-toe Adidas. “People ask me how many I have. You have a few, they get dirty, you have a few more.”
FLY KICKS: DJ Cassidy's Adidas. (Photo: Sami Drasin for Pret-a-Reporter)
And whatever variety Cassidy lacks in the shoe and hat department, he makes up for in his custom clothing. “People think that custom clothes are a lot more money than buying high-end clothes,” muses the DJ, who’s sporting his newest piece — a tweed, Chanel-inspired jacket with pearl buttons, paired with black suede cropped pants — another Jackson signature. “The truth is, in the majority of cases, its actually cheaper to have them custom made. You can be more creative and exhibit more individuality.”