Placing at #20 in GQ’s coveted ‘50 Best-Dressed Men’ list in 2017, Rakim “A$AP Rocky” Mayers has become a figurehead and an icon for contemporary menswear and style. Cementing himself as a modern style inspiration, the Harlem-based rapper charged into the fashion world strategically alongside his rise as a musician.
The early stages of Rocky’s stylistic development saw the arrival of his ‘street-goth’ phase, where the gap between casual streetwear and runway fashion was bridged singlehandedly. In his 2011 music video for ‘Peso’, we see Rocky (along with the A$AP Mob collective) sporting head to toe monochrome streetwear and unapologetic jewellery mixed with designer hi-tops. Supreme and Black Scale are his streetwear brands of choice, whilst acknowledging his selection of fancy footwear in his lyrics (“Raf Simons, Rick Owens usually what I’m dressed in”). Rocky’s new aesthetic quickly gained notoriety and popularity, positioning him as rap and hip-hop’s most stylish artist.
“The comfortable life of grandeur that Rocky is shown to lead”
Rocky’s latest fashion statements continue to coincide with his musical output. The A$AP Mob’s ‘Cozy Tapes’ series of albums embody the comfortable life of grandeur that Rocky is shown to lead, which is then reflected in his clothes. Relaxation has taken precedence over restrictive garments, as Rocky’s signature outfits now consist of tracksuits and graphic t-shirts, along with oversize hoodies and jackets.
Vibrancy and colour is also a staple motif in Rocky’s wardrobe, as he succeeds in effortlessly pulling off daring maximalist outfits. The combination of that red Balenciaga puffer jacket and an orange Calvin Klein fleece is the sort of style which not many could pull off, yet Rocky wore it with ease.
“Both allow anybody to feel like a million bucks in the most accessible of outfits”
Emphasis on the simplicity and comfort of the most basic and attainable clothes has proved to be an inspiration for many fashion houses, who have started to produce tracksuits as a direct result of the trends that Rocky has created. Similar expressions to Rocky’s ‘Cozy Boys’ lifestyle can be seen in the UK with Skepta and his tracksuit mafia movement, which both allow anybody to feel like a million bucks in the most accessible of outfits.
“A$AP Rocky continues to influence perceptions of style”
Rocky’s style is one which constantly begins and evolves trends. Rocky has collaborated with various designers and brands, ranging from the sell-out capsule collections he has had with Guess, starring in Dior’s ad campaign, and appearing on the runway for Hood by Air. With fashion influencing his music, A$AP Rocky continues to influence perceptions of style.
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