Understanding the dynamics of Hip-Hop with the luxury industry
Supreme and Louis Vuitton took everyone by surprise last Paris fashion week, a surprising partnership when you consider that their last meeting dates back to the lawsuit filed by Louis Vuitton when Supreme quietly used the LV monogram to decorate his skateboards.
But it’s not just a simple collab’ it’s above all two worlds that meet the world of luxury and that of streetwear, Supreme this slightly underground skate brand adored by the world of Hip-Hop is coveted today by the older ones. During this time, the big luxury houses find a new breath thanks to hip hop and the rappers when to them do not have to be asked to play the fashionistas.
Long shunned by the big names in fashion, rappers have managed to make their way to the front rows of the biggest fashion shows, making people forget their modest origins and their side that is a little too “ghetto” for some names in fashion. Indeed, in recent years the big luxury brands have taken a new turn, classic houses like Dior, Louis Vuitton or Chanel are reinterpreting the codes of streetwear and rappers have become perfect advertising screens for these brands.
So the first step is to invite fashion lovers to the front row a few places from fashion giants like Anna Wintour. We therefore very often find in the front row planetary stars who chain fashion collabs like Rihanna with Dior, Puma or Manolo Blahnik or even Beyoncé with H&M… But the one who does not need to be asked to attend the best fashion shows is A$AP Rocky, we find him regularly accompanied by his friends from A$AP Mob (most often A$AP Ferg) to squat the edge of the best catwalks. Recently, it was Travis Scott who arrived at the Louis Vuitton show, dressed from head to toe in the latest collab between the brand and Supreme, thanks to him the two brands broke the internet by going around social networks, well done LVMH!
Whereas they were until then simple spectators of the parades, the rappers succeeded in becoming the actors and pass to the statute of muses. The first to launch the trend are Rihanna and A$AP Rocky, they confessed their love for fashion and luxury in ‘Fashion Killa’ and it is quite naturally that they each became Dior muses in their own way. In another register, last January it was Tyler the Creator and his friends from Odd Future who posed for American Vogue alongside Kendall Jenner, all dressed up with Tyler’s brand ‘Golf Wang’, we are far from the ultra-luxury codes that fashion magazines such as Vogue had until then imposed on themselves.
On the French side, during the last Paris Fashion Week, the Pigalle brand surprised to transform the rapper Ichon (who is part of the Bons Gamins crew) into a model, already known for having collaborated with the Avoc brand but also for his side artistic pushed in its look and its clips, the association Ichon Pigalle therefore seems obvious.
If there is one who has done everything possible to be accepted and respected by the fashion world, it is Kanye West. Although there have been a few mistakes stylistically (no, blind type glasses were never in style even in the days of ‘Graduation’), Kanye West is a fashion-loving, serious man. become a major player.
It was in 2009 that everything accelerated for Kanye, he collaborated with Louis Vuitton during men’s fashion week and notably designed a capsule collection of LV branded sneakers and immediately released the first Air Yeezy 1 in collaboration with Nike. It was a little later in 2012 that other collaborations would follow with A.P.C., Giuseppe Zanotti & Balmain, but it was thanks to the collaboration with Adidas and the Yeezy Boost, which was snapped up at a gold price at each restock, Kanye West enjoys popular success. He took the opportunity to switch from sneakers to ready-to-wear and is now in the 3rd season of his Yeezy collection.
But as Kanye loves Kanye above all, he must take care of his artistic aesthetics, for the short film of ‘Runaway’ he calls on Phillip Lim for the costumes, in the same line Kanye and Jay Z called on the artistic director by Givenchy Riccardo Tisci for ‘Watch The Thrones’ album cover and tour looks. More recently he posed for Balmain with his wife and called on the artistic director of the brand Olivier Rousteing (who is from Bordeaux by the way) for the outfits and the artistic direction of the video for ‘Wolves’ from his latest album ‘The Life Of Pablo ‘.
Whether we consider him a genius who cleverly mixes hip hop and fashion or as a megalomaniac obsessed with his own image, in any case Kanye West does not leave anyone indifferent, and proves that hip hop and fashion can be complementary. For the moment, luxury brands are mainly calling on American rappers, but who knows, maybe French luxury houses will end up calling on local rappers: when will a Chanel Lorenzo or PNL Dior collab be?