Backstreet Boys style icon AJ McLean on ’90s looks he misses


There is no doubt in my mind that the ’90s are back in fashion, giving me such a severe whiplash in fashion and culture that I am tempted to sue for damages. There are bobs, baggy jeans, the tease of a comeback of hyper-colorful t-shirts (pls pls pls) and I got to chat with a real damn Thug on the phone. If I could go back and tell Courtney in 1999 that she would become someone who will remember the 90s with the Backstreet Boys (!!!), she wouldn’t believe me at all.

Yes, legitimate BSB legend AJ McLean phoned us before the Backstreet Boys bringing their massive world tour to Australia in 2020, and explained to me a few of his prime looks that he kinda regrets.

“There was a point in my hair changes where I ended up having a spiral perm because I wanted to have an afro,” AJ said.

“And I had an afro, he was a legitimate afro. I had a choice, I chose this thing. Cornrows, I could never have done that and it’s okay.

“Unfortunately I lost my hair, then I went for technology and got my hair back. So now I’ve recently started coming back to my head like ‘maybe I’ll do the frosty tip thing again‘I don’t know, just kidding.

I don’t even know what’s going on here in the underworld.

Look, it was a trying time for everyone, really. I have fond memories of learning pencil eyeliner and getting seriously questionable looks. I vividly remember having owned a “makeup palette” whose lip color could apparently also be cream blush and eye shadow. I understand.

But what look from the 90s did he really like?

“I think one of my all-time favorites that I ever did when I dyed my hair, I dyed my hair with a leopard print,” he said.

I tried in vain to find a photo of this look because it looks really amazing. Please someone send me a picture. I need to see.

Until then, no more hyper-90 mode:

The end of the 90s was of course… an era.

Though he’s an iconic ’90s poster boy and essentially a distillation of that era of fashion, down to bleach-tipped hair, tiny tinted sunglasses, and a penchant for a cowboy hat. outrageous boy or an all-white (?) top hat and tail, there’s one fashion trend that AJ doesn’t think they can revisit behind the scenes.


“There were really bad wardrobe choices, but it was there back then. And now it’s all starting to come back, ”he said.

That ’90s look, baggy jeans. I will never wear baggy again as I wear stuff so tight it’s ridiculous. But I could never wear a baggy again.

In our show now I’m wearing baggy jeans and the first two shows it was uncomfortable. You think it would be the opposite but I was like I didn’t feel right, I felt like I pooped in my pants. I don’t feel good about it right now.

And now on this tour I’m like you know what? If it was tight I would be sweaty, I would be uncomfortable, it’s great, I love it. I just had to dust off the cobwebs.

The Backstreet Boys are coming to Australia in all their ’90s boy band / vocal band glory in May of next year, and have just announced a few more dates in Sydney and Melbourne, as far too many of us are apparently. eager to revisit ours. terrible personal fashion choices from the 90s.

Copy your tickets this way, Backstreet is back, baby.


wednesday 20 may
Brisbane Entertainment Center

friday 22 may
Qudos Bank Arena

saturday 23 may
Qudos Bank Arena
(New show)

Tuesday 26 May
Rod Laver Arena

wednesday 27 may
Rod Laver Arena
(New show)

saturday may 30
RAC Arena

Image: Getty Images / L. Busacca


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