In an interview with Variety published Wednesday, the singer and actor, 26, showed no regrets over his style choice.
“To not wear (something) because it’s females’ clothing, you shut out a whole world of great clothes," he said. "And I think what’s exciting about right now is you can wear what you like. It doesn’t have to be X or Y. Those lines are becoming more and more blurred.”
Following the release of his cover, conservative commentator Candace Owens criticized the cover. She specifically received backlash for her comment "bring back manly men."
Styles reclaimed the comment, posting a photo of himself on Instagram Wednesday in a pleated blue suit eating a banana with the caption: "Bring back manly men."
The former "One Direction" band member became the first man to cover American Vogue solo with December's issue.
He wore a lace ballgown by Gucci, crediting his "flamboyant" idols Prince, David Bowie, Elvis Presley, Freddie Mercury and Elton John with giving him the confidence to buck the status quo and push boundaries.
Styles spoke to Variety about pushing against the status quo not only in fashion, but also with social issues.
Styles opened up about his May Instagram post, where he discussed his privileged and expressed his support for the Black Lives Matter movement.
“Talking about race can be really uncomfortable for everyone,” Styles elaborates. “I had a realization that my own comfort in the conversation has nothing to do with the problem — like that’s not enough of a reason to not have a conversation."
He continued, "Looking back, I don’t think I’ve been outspoken enough in the past. Using that feeling has pushed me forward to being open and ready to learn. … How can I ensure from my side that in 20 years, the right things are still being done and the right people are getting the right opportunities? That it’s not a passing thing?”
He also spoke directly to racial issues in music.
“Historically, I can’t think of any industry that’s benefited more off of Black culture than music,” he said. “There are discussions that need to happen about this long history of not being paid fairly. It’s a time for listening, and hopefully, people will come out humbled, educated and willing to learn and change.”
Contributing: Cydney Henderson
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Harry Styles talks 'Vogue' cover dress criticism, racial justice