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Shawn Mendes' smoothie squad

Who they are, what they do, and above all, why one of them is barefoot

Shawn Mendes' smoothie squad  Who they are, what they do, and above all, why one of them is barefoot

Sometimes it takes very little to entertain social users. Very little. It's enough, for example, for Shawn Mendes to be photographed by paparazzi in West Hollywood at the end of April with a smoothie in one hand and paper bags labelled "The Detox Market" in the other. However, the trigger for the comments is not (only) the choice of drink, but also the clothes and especially the company. Shawn Mendes, indeed, the clean-cut singer, the good guy next door with the guitar, is changing and this photo seems to punish him for good.

He's changing his style - in the photo he's wearing a white tank top, brown sabots/slippers (not unlike the coveted Birkenstock brand Boston, to be exact) and a pair of black trousers, an unerring pair of sunglasses - and his company and social habits are changing. Shawn now accompanies himself not with Camila Cabello (not so ex, as the two were caught exchanging a kiss at the Coachella festival just a few weeks ago), but with a smorgasbord of new, unknown and quirky characters who have piqued his fans' curiosity about the nostalgic and eccentric look, a mix of 70s and extreme casual, including bare feet on asphalt. Too much even for Los Angeles? No problem: the group was immediately dubbed the "Smoothie Squad" and requests to join this exclusive club, whose members are still unknown, are being lavished on social media.

On closer inspection, to the right of the Treat You Better singer, we see a young man wearing a blue cap with a peak, long hair peeking out from behind his ears, a white pirate T-shirt that leaves a strip of his stomach uncovered, and baggy trousers with a drawstring waist, white with blue stripes. Nothing on his feet. In her hand, the ubiquitous smoothie. Sunglasses and moustache. Under her arm a leather-bound notebook that someone on Twitter likes to call "the bible". He is Mike Sabath, a producer, singer and musician who has worked with Lizzo, Little Mix, Meghan Trainor and Selena Gomez, among others.

To his left are two other people. With a magnifying glass and detective's mackintosh, we discover that they are two musicians from Sabath's band The Moongirls. More specifically, they are John Sterling (wearing a bandana, sunglasses, black waistcoat over a white T-shirt and Converse All Star) and Austin Lichtenstein, called Austhekid, in black shorts, black open short-sleeved shirt and rainbow-coloured nail polish. Together, these three, who share a common look and trichological situation in addition to their music careers, have just released an album titled "Album 2: Being human" The other two members of the numerous band, Pete Miller and Noah Viklund, are not included.

One final piece of information that is useful to further contextualise the recording: The Detox Market is a multi-brand shop founded by Roman Gaillard in 2010 in Venice, California, that sells sustainable and eco-friendly skin products and aims to raise awareness about the provenance and transparency of ingredients in beauty products.

In short, between drinks and products, a productive outing, inside and out. An interesting photo in many ways, full of remarkable details, of which Variety had fun describing the mood thus: "Very very fun people smoking something in Maria Hernandez Park while listening to Diiv, at least until you get into a debate about who's gentrifying North Brooklyn." An incredibly specific and US-centric description, but one that hits the nail on the head. But what's behind it? Is Shawn Mendes ready for a re-branding and wants to give us a hint with this picture of what we can expect from him in the near future in terms of music (after all, friends are in a band), style and character? Conclusion: Is this simply a wellness outing among friends or a well-disguised advertising measure to draw attention to the new musical project of Sabath and - why not - Mendes? Posterity will be the judge.