A True Original: An Ode to Lou Reed's Rebellious Style

Yesterday we lost one of rock's most legendary artists and songwriters, Lou Reed, at the age of 71.
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Alyssa Vingan Klein
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Yesterday we lost one of rock's most legendary artists and songwriters, Lou Reed, at the age of 71.
Photo: Hedi Slimane for V Magazine

Photo: Hedi Slimane for V Magazine

Yesterday, we lost one of rock's most legendary artists and songwriters, Lou Reed, at the age of 71. From his time as the lead singer of the Velvet Underground from the mid '60s to the '70s--the band was managed by Andy Warhol and often performed at The Factory--to his long-running career as a solo artist, Reed's loyal fan base included some of the music industry's most influential names, including David Bowie and Patti Smith.

A true pioneer, Reed's lyrics dared to delve into the dark underbelly of New York City's art and music scene of the era, including topics that were often considered taboo--like transsexuality and addiction.

Another area in which Reed was a pioneer and rebel was fashion. Reed is leaving behind decades of iconic style that continue to inspire younger generations. Join us as we remember the rock icon with this look back at his signature style.

Photo: Mick Rock

Photo: Mick Rock

The cover of Reed's 1972 album Transformer, shot by Mick Rock, featured a punk, slightly out of focus image of the artist, which is now one of his most iconic portraits. Dig that guyliner.

Lou Reed Facebook

Lou Reed Facebook

The album Lou Reed Live, released in 1975, captured Reed in two of his signature items: oversized aviators and a leather jacket. This early version featured giant lapels studded with stars.

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This 2013 cover of The Times featured a portrait of Reed from 1975, when black nail polish, dark sunglasses, and general anti-authority attitude were all part of his mystique. And is that a PVC jacket?

Lou Reed Facebook

Lou Reed Facebook

This album cover shows Reed's offbeat style sensibility. Whether it was mismatched corduroys or striped suspenders, he clearly didn't give a shit about what others thought of his ensembles.

Lou Reed Facebook

Lou Reed Facebook

Owning the aviators and leather jacket thing.

Getty Images

Getty Images

This 1983 image of Reed is about as classic as it gets.

Getty Images

Getty Images

Even in his later days, Reed was a muse to many, including Saint Laurent's Hedi Slimane, who shot him recently for an editorial in V Magazine.