Kid Cudi explains touching meaning behind his SNL dress as fans point out the obvious

Kid Cudi performs on-stage in a white floral dress

Kid Cudi ha explained the meaning behind the floral dress he wore on Saturday Night Live that prompted a wider discussion about queerness and masculinity.

The “Day ‘n’ Nite” hitmaker left viewers in awe when he walked onto the sombrely lit SNL stage in a gown to perform “Sad People”.

On Sunday (11 April) Cudi, 35, confirmed the custom piece, by Off White designer Virgil Abloh, was a tribute to Kurt Cobain, with the gig falling near the 27th anniversary of the singer’s death.

Abloh designed the dress specifically for him, Cudi said.

“I told him I wanted to show love with a floral print sundress and this man made a masterpiece,” he tweeted. “Thank you, Virgil Abloh, ur a f***in’ genius!! Love you, man, we did it!!!”


Taking to social media, Cobain fans thanked Cudi for paying a silent but seismic ode to the Nirvana frontman, who died by suicide 9 April, 1994.

Cobain, as users pointed out, wore a similar number when he graced the 1993 cover of The Face. And in an earlier SNL performance, Cudi threw on a fuzzy green cardigan that bore a strong resemblance to a similar piece Cobain wore during Nirvana’s MTV Unplugged concert in 1993.

Fans praised Cudi for the two timely tributes, which harked back to how Cobain raged against masculinity’s trappings with his clothing choices.

But fans also sought to stress that a cisgender straight guy wearing a dress shouldn’t be as groundbreaking as it’s so often considered – at the end of the day, countless queer folk do the same to little to no applause.

“As fab as it is to see cisgender straight men embracing femininity through fashion and all that it symbolises,” wrote model Munroe Bergdorf on Instagram, “let’s remember that they also won’t face nearly as much hatred or the physical danger that visibly queer folk will when they do the exact same thing.

“We can celebrate everyone’s expression and creativity, but we need to bear in mind that where some are applauded, others are literally being heckled and scared to leave the house because of transphobic and homophobic violence.”

This isn’t the only time Cudi, known off-stage as Scott Mescudi, has celebrated Cobain’s legacy.

He sampled Cobain’s haunting guitar strums for his track, “Cudi Montage”, a song that explored spiritual redemption in the face of shaken mental health.

Cudi pulled from Cobain’s “Burn The Rain” for the song, featured on a collaborative album with Kanye West, Kids See Ghosts – Cobain is even credited as a songwriter and composer for the song.

After his SNL appearance, Kid Cudi announced that he is collaborating with Off-White, known for blending streetwear with haute couture, “and the dress will be included” in the collection.


Abloh also spoke about the intention behind the design on Instagram. “Freedom is, as freedom does,” he wrote, “feel free. Feel me.

“Off-White, specially reserved for Mr Rager only, Kid Cudi.”