Three blunts and two conversations is how long it took A$AP Rocky to design his new capsule collection with Guess Originals. The jiggy fashion rapper has brought the f–u–n to a unisex and for women-only range of Cali-slash-candy colored tees, dresses, and washed out denim jackets with roots in the Guess clothes favored by rappers like Puff Daddy in the early ‘90s. Inside a two-man teepee on the top level of a treehouse Rocky designed for the collection’s launch in Los Angeles, we caught up with him to discuss the difference between a bitch and a ho, his style references and #feminism.
You’ve been called one of the hottest trendsetters in fashion. Is that a title you’re conscious of upholding?
“I feel like titles can be made and they can be taken; they come and go everyday. I think if that’s what I’m labeled, it’s just due to my actions and my successful accomplishments and it’s been a natural growth. Hopefully it’s a title that’ll continue, but if it doesn’t, someone else will hold it down and do it justice.”
How does your approach to style differ on and offstage?
“It’s the same. Fashion has always been a mood thing for me—a fashion sense. I think when people get dressed it’s just expressing how you feel. So if you’re not in the mood—say if you’re a girl and you’re PMS-ing, you might want to wear sweatpants, black pants, maybe even your bad underwear. But if you’re going out somewhere extravagant, you might wear a dress, something stunning, and a beautiful necklace.”
How has your style developed over time?
“I think that as time changes, people evolve—you develop throughout the day. So the more I grow, I think my style grows too. Some peoples’ style grows for the better, some people for the worst, unfortunately, but I think I’m doing o.k.”
Are you still excited to go shopping and pick out clothes?
“I’m not going to say I don’t work with a stylist because my business partner in fashion is Matthew Henson and he is one, but I don’t let him go into my closet and tell me what I’m going to wear each day. That’s stupid and pointless and would make me a fashion fraud. I like to go shopping, but he’ll also pull racks of news clothes and I’ll just go through and pick whatever speaks to me. Letting someone else dress me—that’s not what I do.”
What effect do you think growing up in New York had on your sense of style?
“Everything. Being from New York and a ghetto like Harlem in particular, you’re living in the mecca of urban fashion. Dapper Dan and people like Cam’ron, Mase, Puff Daddy all had a huge influence on me. If you look even further back—say, to the Harlem Renaissance in the 1920s—Harlem has always been a place where new shit or just like the next shit is going down. New York has always been two steps ahead of the curve and the game like that.”
How did you approach designing your new collection with Guess?
“F-U-N. Just fun. I thought about a vibe, about people smoking a ton of weed, buying clothes, and socializing like how people should be. Peaceful teepees, beautiful lights, food, a cool treehouse, feeling relaxed.”
The collection is unisex and for women. What did you enjoy most about designing for the female form?
“Everything, because women are fun. At the end of the day, like, don’t get me started with the women thing. Women, first of all, they make everything and wear anything and make it look cool. It’s crazy. Dudes, we gotta look like dudes to a certain extent, but a woman, she could look like a tomboy, she can look like a chick. Growing up, my sister always had better toys because I feel like designers cater more to women. They fit in everything and they make everything look good. I’m fascinated by women, but don’t even get me started on the importance of women. If there were no women, things wouldn’t be fun, people wouldn’t put as much effort into things. I know I certainly wouldn’t. And it’s not one of those things where I’m being misogynistic and I just wanna fuck women and all that shit. It’s that I really appreciate women, bitches, hoes, or whatever you wanna label them as. Hip-hop and the civilized world, the importance of women is always the same to me.”
What’s the difference between a bitch and a ho?
“I think a ho sells pussy and a bitch is a female dog, but they’re all still women.”
Who would you love to see wearing the collection?
“I wanna see all my peers who are fun like me wear it. I hope Pharrell wears it because he’s a fun guy. I hope my brother Tyler the Creator too because he’s the homie. I hope anyone who wants to fucking wear it wears it.”
What makes Guess and A$AP a good fit?
“I mean just look at me. You know. It’s just cool on me.”
Who are your fashion muses?
“I would say Nigo is always a muse. Michele Lamy is always a muse. J.W. Anderson, Kris Van Assche. and Alessandro Michele. All these guys are just fucking amazing. Those are people who inspire me everyday.”
What qualities do you find most inspiring in a person?
“Vision and the ability to execute a vision. People with innovative thoughts and ideas is what I value and cherish the most. The Nikola Teslas of today, the Einsteins.”
What do you think is your biggest strength?
“My taste and my preference is my strongest suit. My taste level is actually what defines me and it’s what I manifest into all of my music, my fashion collections or anything else that I’m working on.”
Can we expect more collaborations with you and Guess in the future?
“Maybe. Can I expect more interviews with you in the future?”
One last thing—how many diamonds are in your mouth right now?
“I would say approximately 41 and then I have three gold fillings and two solid gold teeth. People usually don’t even see those, but they’re permanent. They had to take my teeth out and replace them with the gold. I’ve had them for three years and I think I’m like the only person to do that. I didn’t want to much cosmetic damage to the front teeth because I do films and movies and didn’t want the gold and diamonds to interfere, but I was ready to do the whole thing.”
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createdAt:Mon, 20 Mar 2017 19:54:41 +0000