Hip Hop’s New Home in Fashion
BY Audrey Lee
In no way does eccentrically crass rapper Tyler the Creator fit the fashion designer archetype, but that’s not stopping him and other hip hop artists from shaking up the industry with their collections. Tyler’s brightly-hued Golf Wang line, which he first released in 2014, is set to be featured in its first-ever fashion show this June. This week, it was announced that the Golf Wang show is set to follow Jeremy Scott’s Moschino Spring 2017 and Resort 2017 presentations as part of the first-ever Made Los Angeles event, sponsored by IMG.
Although Tyler the Creator isn’t the first hip hop artist to debut his line on the runway. Notorious rapper turned designer, Kanye West married fashion and music at his Yeezy Season Three presentation by pairing his new collection with a live stream of his new album, The Life of Pablo. The show, which was held this past February at Madison Square Garden featured celebrity models such as Naomi Campbell and fellow rapper Lil Yachty.
In fact, Kanye seems to have transitioned into the fashion world with ease. In late March, his New York City The Life of Pablo pop-up shop drew massive crowds of fans hoping to cop a piece from the collection (side note: I tried going to the pop-up shop and can personally attest that the mob was truly frightening). In the short span of two days, the shop reportedly made Mr. West a whooping $2 million profit.
Rihanna’s also been putting in some major work to release a recent slew of fashion collabs. Her highly anticipated Fenty x Puma collaboration turned heads at New York City Fashion Week and her denim-inspired Manolo Blahnik collection is set to debut in May. The Work singer even recently announced her plans to release a third sock collection with the brand Stance.
It’s possible that these collections and collaborations are foreshadowing the future of the fashion industry. Names like A$AP Rocky, Drake and Pharrell are becoming synonymous with style and now more than ever designers are forging relationships with hip hop artists. With musicians serving as fashion icons and style muses, these two worlds are quickly merging, cultivating a new culture in the process. Though they might not have fashion degrees, these artists have proved to be tremendously successful in their ability to channel creativity into design. Like it or not, hip hop has found a comfortable home in the fashion industry, and by the look of things, it’s here to stay for a while.