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Harry Styles Likes Alain de Botton—And He Has the Sweatshirt Prove It

“I just think he’s brilliant,” says Styles of the philosopher….

Harry Styles is a man smitten with fashion. He appreciates the architecture of a Saturday Night Fever–flare and is well-versed in the loveliness of a pearl necklace. So when Styles turned up to meet Hamish Bowles—his interviewer for his first Vogue cover story—wearing a sweatshirt, it can only be assumed he was making a fashion statement.

The hoodie featured the likeness of Mr. Alain de Botton, a Swiss-born, London-based intellectual who’s published dozens of books on the benefits of reading Proust and the fulfillment to be found in the finer arts. The garment is one of a kind, because, as Styles tells Bowles, he designed it himself. Styles pulled two photos of de Botton—one of him with crossed arms, leaning up against a bookcase; another sees a more youthful de Botton (the author lost his hair at 20)—and printed them side-by-side in black-and-white on a black cotton hoodie. It goes without saying, the singer’s adulation of the author runs deep.

Image may contain Clothing Apparel Sunglasses Accessories Accessory Coat Jacket Human Person Hood and Sweater
Harry Styles wears a sweatshirt of his own design featuring two portraits of Alain de Botton.Photo Credit:  ©EROTEME.CO.UK

It all started in 2013 with a story in the U.K.’s Metro. A Q&A in which the author asked de Botton if he was friends with Styles. “That would be over-egging it. I was introduced to him at a party. Neither of us had heard of each other. We had a nice chat. It was fun.” De Botton even tweeted a photo of the encounter. 

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The interview continues with de Botton—a dedicated aesthete with less pomp than Oscar Wilde and an educator whose credos are a lot more polarizing than Bill Nye the Science Guy—expounding on how to engage the public. 

“My plan is to…get people such as Harry Styles to go on television and recommend to everyone they read Proust and Hegel,” he said in the 2013 interview. “David Beckham could do Aristotle and Plato. The cause of intellectual life in this country would be helped immeasurably.… In an ideal world Harry Styles would be teaching his 10 million Twitter followers a little more about Greek philosophy.”

Image may contain Alain de Botton Furniture Shelf Bookcase Human Person Suit Coat Clothing Overcoat and Apparel
One of the de Botton photos that Styles screenprinted on his sweatshirt. Photo Credit: Vincent Starr
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