Every musician needs his signature wardrobe staple; whether it’s Elton John’s quirky sunglasses, Michael Jackson’s iconic crystal-studded white glove, or Justin Bieber’s love for bucket hats. Who else is bringing back the bucket hat? Arab rapper and singer Saint Levant.
Marwan Abdelhamid, better known as Saint Levant, is a Palestinian/French/Algerian/Serbian artist based in California. After being born in Jerusalem and spending his childhood years in Gaza, he moved to California to pursue his higher education.
Saint Levant owes the start of his career to the power of Tiktok, where his music garnered millions of views. The artist’s dedication to support other Palestinians led him to starting a fellowship named ‘2048,’ referencing 100 years after the Nakba, and its sole purpose is to fund a young Palestinian creative for a year. Much of his music is also an ode to his country, including “Haifa in a Tesla,” in which he sings about riding to the Palestinian city accompanied by Edward Said and Bella Hadid.
The singer has collaborated with several other Arab artists, including Jordanian/Palestinian singer Zeyne on their recent release, ‘Balak.’
But what strikes us about the young artist, is that with just one glance through his Instagram page, one recurring item seems to be on every post: a pink, fluffy bucket hat. Is Saint Levant changing stereotypes in men’s fashion? We hope so.
The artist’s signature look is sure to create change in the much-too-saturated-in-testosterone-industry (AKA my way of rephrasing toxic masculinity), a trait that is unfortunately explicitly prevalent in the Arab world. Whilst Justin Bieber and Harry Styles may have helped break stereotypes in pop music with their bucket hats and eclectic choices of dressing, respectively, Saint Levant is the first to introduce a piece of clothing often associated with women to the world of Arabic rap. The merging of his hat with a genre of music that has much too often been associated with macho-ness is helping put the stereotypes to bed.
By doing so, Saint Levant is reclaiming the narrative around emasculation in men’s fashion, especially in the Arab world, and we’ll be keeping an eye out to see what else he’ll pull out of his wardrobe.