Liam Payne Defends Harry Styles’ Controversial ‘Vogue’ Magazine Cover: ‘He’s Enjoying Himself’

Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Nof One Direction perform on ABC's "Good Morning America" at Rumsey Playfield, Central Park on August 4, 2015 in New York City.
Stephen Lovekin / Getty Images

Liam Payne defended his former bandmate Harry Styles‘ controversial Vogue Magazine cover — where Harry wore a dress — in an interview with Capital Breakfast with Roman Kemp. The former One Direction singer told the radio host that he thought the photo shoot was great.

“I think he’s enjoying himself and he’s free to do as he wishes,” Liam stated.

“And, you know, I just think that people don’t need to be so bothered about stuff. There’s been a lot more stuff going on this year than whether or not he’s wearing the right clothes in someone else’s mind,” he continued, indirectly referencing the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and its repercussions.

Harry came under scrutiny for wearing a dress on the cover of the women’s magazine. He wore a Gucci ball gown in Vogue‘s December 2020 issue, becoming the first-ever solo male to be featured on its cover. He wore a lace-trimmed dress and tuxedo jacket crafted by Gucci’s creative director, Alessandro Michele, reported People Magazine.

Of the photoshoot, Harry said in Vogue that clothing was a way to experiment with one’s look. He shared that it was exciting that all of the gender lines in regards to fashion were crumbling away. He said that when you remove gender lines, you remove barriers and open up the arena where one can play with their looks.

Liam Payne, Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson, and Niall Horan of One Direction perform on ABC's "Good Morning America" at Rumsey Playfield, Central Park on August 4, 2015 in New York City.
  Stephen Lovekin / Getty Images

The singer came under fire for his gender-bending style from conservative author Candace Owens, who slammed Harry in a tweet posted on November 14.

“There is no society that can survive without strong men. The East knows this. In the west, the steady feminization of our men at the same time that Marxism is being taught to our children is not a coincidence. It is an outright attack,” she wrote on Twitter.

Liam also spoke about how his friend had remained the same in spite of his many successes. Liam revealed that after the breakup of the multimillion-selling pop band, which formally disbanded in 2015, he did not speak with his pal for a long time. Liam said that when the two participated in a Jingle Ball event, they met backstage. He said in the interview that he felt that Harry was the same guy he always was.

The two were bandmates for six years in One Direction, alongside Zayn Malik, Niall Horan, and Louis Tomlinson. Harry ventured into a solo career in 2017 when he debuted his self-titled album and followed that up with Fine Line in 2019.