British actor Idris Elba is best known for his portrayal of economically driven druglord, Stringer Bell, in the HBO series “The Wire”. The popular television series is recognized for its accurate depiction of American socioeconomic issues. “The Wire” introduced American audiences to the talent of Idris Elba and immediately catapulted the Brit into popularity. Soon after, Elba was showcased in Tyler Perry’s “Daddy’s Little Girls”, Ridley Scott’s blockbuster “American Gangster”, and the television series “The Office”. Last year Elba starred in the thriller “Takers”, as the architect of a group of heist criminals whose swagger is off the richter scale. This sartorial gem is visually salivating, as every character is aggressively tailored and aggressively urbane. Something all men should seek to be. Elba’s character, Gordon Cozier, can be seen strutting about town in a navy Dolce and Gabbana suit, and a heather brown Versace pinstripe suit. I’m talking serious bravado personified. Consequentially, Elba began attracting the attention of style enthusiasts and he did not disappoint.
Standing 6 foot 2 inches and weighing 215 pounds, this dude is a physical specimen built more like a football player than a prototypical thespian. This might lead you to believe he is plagued with conundrums finding proper fits, like most men with similar physiques. Quite the contrary, there is nothing ill-fitting or ill-conceived about Idris Elba or his wardrobe. That’s what I find so endearing and admirable about Elba. While most guys his size don’t understand proportions, fit, or how to use their size to sartorially work in their favour, Elba does. He’s definitely winning.
His formal and casual style ethos rivals any of his contemporary colleagues. Have a look at Elba when he attended the Giorgio Armani menswear show at Milan Fashion Week. Or have a look at his arrival to the “Legacy” premiere at the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival, where he manages to be the best dressed male in a slim suit, showcasing shades of grey, lavender, and an ankle boot. That’s right, ankle boot. And Elba doesn’t lose an ounce of confidence or swagger. Admittedly, Elba has a somewhat small albeit important role in the summer blockbuster “Thor”, as Heimdall. You would think he played Thor himself the way Elba walked the red carpet in a steel blue slim suit. There’s a presence, a coolness, and a calmness about Elba that can’t be ignored and American audiences are finally taking notice.
DJ Driis is Idris Elba’s musical alias. Listening to his music, it’s not hard to believe DJ Driis is fourteen years deep in the game. His most recent album, “High Class Problems”, is a mix of seductive, soulful beats like the “Private Garden” and “Best I Can” tracks, and dope hip hop bangers like “Exhibit Driis” and “I Owe You”. Elba’s everyday style appropriately resembles his alter ego’s musical vibe. Not on a red carpet movie premiere, DJ Driis sticks with comfortable, pragmatic staples that don’t sacrifice first class cool; Gucci cardigans with contrast trim, Nike wind runner jackets, tee shirts, dark denim, and sneakers.
Idris Elba has crossed over the pond and joined the ranks of his other British mates, like perennial icon David Beckham. Fashion and style voyeurs can only expect bigger and better things from Elba, as he is studded to act alongside Nicholas Cage in the new Ghost Rider sequel, as well as another Ridley Scott project. Whimsical cinematic visions dance in my head of Elba in a Tom Ford tux, portraying James Bond. And I love James Bond. And I particularly love how Elba’s peer Daniel Craig has transformed the character. In the track “Rise Up”, DJ Driis exclaims, “I care not about the number on the chart, I’m a ten pound baby from the start.” It’s plain to see we’re dealing with a [literal] heavyweight in Idris Elba. Knockout power, knockout style, and knockout talent.