Devendra Banhart - Tony Troubador of Topanga


Devendra Banhart Fader MagazineWe showed up one afternoon in Topanga while Devendra, Noah and Luckey were finishing up the new album, Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon, brought some clothes and took the band’s measurements for pants.

Look for Devendra wearing A FINE TOOTH in this month’s issues of Fader Magazine and GQ.

He’s gracious, the girls say gorgeous, and—I always come away feeling, just…—good.

Besides his (to some) outrageous looks—long beard, eyeliner, native jewelry and tattoos—Devendra is an intelligent, well-mannered and worldy person. And he’s warm, to throw another “W” on the fire. In short, a gentleman.

He’s a keen phraseologist—introducing me to his friends as “The Indiana Jones of Male Beautification”—and cognoscente of the world’s pop culture, which he continually visits and absorbs, including it in his music in his own, seemingly effortless way.

Once during an elevator ride to the lobby of Tokyo’s Otani Hotel (the last time I saw him) he serenaded me, or so I assumed it was me, by singing Irving Berlin’s Puttin’ On The Ritz (or at least the Taco version), apparently having memorized every word. And there I was, self-proclaimed vintage clothier to the (indie) stars, unable to keep up with the lyrics of what should most naturally be my theme song.

How’s that for a top hat? He wears it well, I say.

(The hat he’s wearing in this photo, btw, used to belong to Bob Dylan.)

So the secrets to Devendra are simple. He’s smart, from head to toe; and as for the label “Freak Folk,” I guess I see it. But it leaves a bit out, IMHO.

Here is Devendra as the gracious subject of our most recent video promoting our MEN’S FITTED TROUSERS.

More photos of Devendra here.