Fashion stylist and curator @brittney_rb reached out to me to do an interview for her final project at Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) in Atlanta, Ga. I felt honored that she trusted my opinion enough to risk her grade, not to mention it was the first time I've been interviewed. I enjoyed giving her my take on Hip Hop and Fashion. Needless to say, Brittney Bonner graduated with a Master's in Retail Marketing.... She’s dope!
B: In what ways have you seen music influence fashion and vice versa?
K: My oldest memories date back to the early 2000’s when Jay-Z wore a Tar Heels jersey in the Best of Me video alongside R&B songstress Mya in her Tar Heels jersey dress. Carolina Blue or Tar Heel blue appeared to be the most popular color that year... yet the Tar Heels hadn’t won a conference title or National title.
K: I also recall men stepping out of their comfort zone wearing pink because Camron rocked a pink durag and pink furs.
K: Who would have thought an art form that represents the lives of the most oppressed and over looked group of people would have such a huge impact on fashion? Rick Owens featured Du-rags on the runway at Paris Fashion Week. As we all know Paris Fashion Week features majorly white people, yet hip hop culture surfaced despite not being worn by brown or black people.
K: Today, currently, Gucci is everywhere! I strolled down my Instagram timeline and see people wearing Gucci. I’d suspect Gucci sales have skyrocketed thanks to Hip Hop. Lil Pump's "Gucci Gang" inspired millennials to wear Gucci’s snake inspired collection. Rapper Future made it cool to have intercourse in Gucci flip flops in his song “Thought it was a Drought”. Tyga's "Gucci Snakes," which features the hook "I just spent ten bands at Gucci", encourages young people to splurge on designer gear they probably can’t afford but since it’s popular, who cares right? Not to mention the most successful trap artist of all time “Gucci Mane”, has a subtle ode to the brand every time you see his name. African Americans are America’s biggest consumers according to Nielsen reviews and many young black people love hip hop culture, we’re heavily influenced by rap and in some instances, it has raised our communities.
B: How do you feel that music and fashion have managed to build a strong correlation in the entertainment industry?
K: Secretly I believe everyone has dreamed of being famous for something, since most of us aren’t so lucky to experience super stardom we emulate the lives of our favorite celebs. If our favorite artist is wearing a certain designer we become fans of the designer as well, by accident. I think Kanye West has done a phenomenal job dominating the entertainment industry by merging music and fashion. When Kanye dropped his Life of Pablo album his merchandise from his tour brought in sells and inspired copy cats. I’ve seen shirts in nearly every retail store that have the same font and simplistic look as Kanye’s merchandise. Also hype beasts everywhere are going crazy about Yeezy releases. Marrying a Kardashian also expanded his brand and brought even more attention to his life.
B: What specific roles do you feel Hip Hop play in terms of the fashion industry?
K: I think Hip Hop encourages creativity and gives designers inspiration. Go to any predominantly black city and look at the youth. Whatever young people in urban cities are wearing.... it’s bound to be the next fashion trend. Sacha Jenkins director of Fresh Dressed stated “When you don’t have much ownership over where you can land in society, your financial situation... the one thing you can control is the way you look”.
B: As a media blogger and music connoisseur, what role, if any, does fashion play in an artist's image?
K: I think fashion plays a huge role on an artist image. Personally, I don’t care how an artist dress because I like music that talks about real issues. For instance, Kendrick Lamar and J Cole are two of my favorite artist. Truthfully, they often look grungy .... granted I know they intentionally don’t wear flashy clothes in support of their message. They appear to give very little effort toward their image. I think being minimalistic as a conscious artist works. SZA, the aesthetic of her appearance and fashion is intriguing, some may even say magical. I love her drawn on freckles, relaxed fit jeans, dirty sneakers, fluffy hair and pigmented cheeks. I feel as if her fashion sense also fits her music because she’s very transparent and the average girl can relate to her. SZA always looks like her hair is tussled and her clothes look like she threw them on in a rush. But it works! But let’s chat about the fashion god Rihanna for a sec. Rihanna’s I don’t give a fuck attitude and sex appeal allows her to wear ANYTHING and I mean anything, and it looks great. Rihanna’s over all image is empowering. Her confidence is unmatched, and she can do no wrong in my eyesight.
B: Name some of your favorite artists that have good fashion sense in your opinion. Explain.
K: Rapper Fabolous has great fashion sense in my opinion. I feel as if all of his outfits are thought out. I love seeing him rock retro jerseys or custom pieces with shoes to match. I think Sauce Walka is interesting to look at. I honestly don’t think his music is all the great, but I love his artistry. I like that he wears little girl hair bows and he’s somewhat of a hype beast rocking Vlone, Bape and lots of Supreme gear.
Young Thug is one of my favorite artist. He always pushes the envelope. He’s not afraid to wear a dress or skirt or paint his nails.... he definitely does whatever he wants, and it works. Recently I saw Young Thug in a feminine bubble coat trench similar to the cartoon character’s Madeline’s jacket.