Liam Payne is speaking out in defense of his former One Direction bandmate Harry Styles after he received backlash for his controversial Vogue cover.
He became the legendary fashion magazine’s first ever male cover star and made quite a splash while doing so. The 26-year-old stunned for its December issue in a tuxedo jacket and dress designed by Gucci designer Alessandro Michele.
Not everyone was feeling the look, in particular conservative commentator Candace Owens who has a history of getting into heated battles with other celebrities like Cardi B and Lance Bass.
“There is no society that can survive without strong men,” Candace tweeted after the cover was released. “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. Bring back manly men.”
Naturally Candace was dragged for her comments by Harry’s fans and anyone that cannot stand toxic masculinity. Someone who was also on the “Watermelon Sugar” crooner’s side was Liam who spoke highly of him in a new interview.
“Oh I thought it was great! I think he’s enjoying himself and he’s free to do as he wishes!,” Liam said on Capital Breakfast with Roman Kemp regarding the cover. “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,” Liam added. “Just let him go on with it, he’s enjoying himself.”
Harry later poked fun at Candace’s comments after he posted a snap of him from a Variety photoshoot shot by Parker Woods. It featured him in a frilly blue ensemble while chomping on a banana. “Bring back manly men,” was the pic’s caption which many in the comment’s section picked up on immediately.
Liam’s praise for Harry continued in the interview. After being asked if Harry belonged on the naughty or nice list for 2020 he chose the latter and also talked about how he’s remain grounded throughout his career.
“He’s never really lost himself, even in spite of everything,” Liam insisted. “After the band we didn’t speak for a long time actually and then I remember seeing him, it was actually at a Jingle Bell Ball, backstage for the first time in a long time.”
“He’s still the same guy he always was when we left each other in that dressing room as the band kind of stopped for a little bit.”
Liam and Harry were part of One Direction, arguably one of the biggest boy bands ever, from 2010 to 2016 alongside Niall Horan & Louis Tomlinson (Zayn Malik departed the band one year earlier).
All have had success in their solo careers since their indefinite hiatus with Harry topping the Billboard 200 chart with his self-title debut album in 2017 and follow up Fine Line two years later.