A$AP Rocky, a member of the Harlem rap collective A$AP Mob, released his last large scale musical project, and second studio album, in 2015, “AT.LONG.LAST.A$AP”. For the past year, Rocky has been teasing fans with a third studio album, “Testing”, set to release sometime in the summer of 2018. Rocky has spent the first few months of 2018 slowly releasing promotional tracks, music videos, and featuring his new music in guest performances; carefully keeping his fan base on its toes and excited about the new mysterious project.
This past week Rocky has upped the anticipation by posting cryptic photos of what some speculate to be the new album’s cover art and release date to his social media accounts. Rocky has also been seen doing a multitude of promotional interviews with online media outlets, which fans are hoping signifies the close release of his project.
A$AP Rocky is not only known as one of rap’s most popular artists, he is also known for his love of fashion and popularization of the new high-end streetwear trend. From his 2011 debut single ‘Pesos’ where Rocky showered praises onto his favorite high-end designers Rick Owens and Raf Simmons, to his most current track ‘A$AP Forever’, fashion has always been an integral theme in Rocky’s musical lyricism. Rocky’s love for fashion was well established before he became a popular figure in the rap scene, and his increase in popularity only granted him more access to the inner circles of the fashion industry.
From the label laden ‘Fashion Killa’ to the Mob’s newest homage track ‘Raf’, this post will discuss A$AP Rocky’s most rapped about fashion labels.
“Order VLONE, color orange mango label” – A$AP Rocky “Pick It Up”
VLONE is an fashion brand co-founded by A$AP Bari, member of the A$AP mob collective. Although the VLONE brand was founded in 2011/2012, the brand did not release its first collection until 2014. Functioning under Orson Welles famous motto: “We’re born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Only through our love and friendship can we create the illusion for the moment that we’re not alone”, the brand is famous for its indicative “-Friends” designs printed in bright colors on many of its clothing pieces. In an interview with highsnobiety A$AP Bari, and Rocky open up about how this quote frames the mindset behind the brand: “So the whole meaning behind the T-shirt is that ‘minus friends’ means ‘zero friends.’ I’m just more alone. Live alone. Die alone — that’s the whole meaning.”
VLONE has made its mark on the fashion game with its OFF WHITE collaboration, and California pop up shops. A$AP Bari, like the rest of the A$AP mob, keep the future vibe of the brand ambiguous, stating that: “[VLONE is] not streetwear. [VLONE is] not high fashion. [VLONE is] hood fashion…taking Harlem and bringing it elsewhere”.
“I’m on my live alone, die VLONE / Ain’t talkin’ ’bout spending or buyin’ clothes / I’m ’bout my business but I’m alone” -A$AP Rocky ‘A$AP Forever’
Raf Simons is a Belgian fashion designer who started a menswear label in 1995. Raf Simons has been an integral name present in A$AP Rocky’s lyrics since his 2011 release ‘Pesos’.
“I gets get the freshest / Raf Simons, Rick Owens usually what I’m dressed in” – A$AP Rocky ‘Pesos’
Fashion icon A$AP Rocky is a huge supporter of Raf Simons, and is often seen attending his fashion shows and repping Raf’s designs. In an interview with SHOWstudio Rocky stated that “Raf is a pioneer in himself. A lot of his early collections I connected to…a lot of his stuff is about being rebellious and being a teenager and what not. I’ve been fuckin’ with Raf since day one out of the gate.”
To show their undying respect and support for Raf Simons, A$AP Mob released a song dedicated to Raf Simons on their 2017 Cozy Tapes Vol.2: Too Cozy. On this track Rocky teamed up with other Raf Simons admirers, Quavo, Lil Uzi Vert, Playboi Carti, and Frank Ocean, to rap about the exclusive brand.
“It’s rare Raf when I wear Raf / Bare Raf when I wear Raf / Might invest into some Raf shares” -A$AP Rocky in ‘Raf’
The group debuted a music video stock full of vintage Raf Simons cameos to accompany the song.
Rick Owens is an American fashion designer who created his own menswear label in 1994. Hip-Hop artists like A$AP Rocky, and the members of A$AP Mob, have been at the forefront of popularizing the currently widespread fashion trend of high-end streetwear. As we can tell from his music, Rocky is an undying supporter of Rick Owens, and has even been seen wearing the Rick Owen X Adidas sneaker collab to high profile events like the 2014 Paris fashion week.
“I spent twenty thousand dollars with my partners in Bahamas / Another twenty thousand dollars on Rick Owens out in Barney’s.” -A$AP Rocky ‘Excuse Me’
Rocky, and many other members of the A$AP Mob, are often seen wearing Rick Owens, especially his adidas sneakers collaboration. In an interview with Complex, Rocky shared his enthusiasm towards high-end brands merging into street wear, stating: “It’s dope as fuck, you know. It’s making adidas look strong. There aren’t too many highly respected designers in the high-end world that other athletic name brands can do a collaboration with. This is amazing: All of my favorite designers are doing an Adidas sneaker. Who would’ve ever thought that Rick Owens would do an adidas sneaker”
“Rick Owens, Raf Simons, boy she got it by the stock / She ball until she fall, that means she shop ’til she drop” -A$AP Rocky ‘Fashion Killa’
Maison Martin Margiela
Maison Margiela is a luxury fashion line based out of Paris, and founded in 1988 by Belgian designer Martin Margiela. The Maison Margiela fashion house has been closely intertwined with Kanye West in the past, and catapulted itself into scene of high-end street with the appointment of John Galliano as the brand’s creative director in 2014.
“Let’s take it to the basis, you in the midst of greatness / My Martin was a Maison, rocked Margiela’s with no laces” -A$AP Rocky ‘Goldie’
Margiela’s sneakers are most popularly seen among fashion icons like A$AP Rocky, and are another example of the mixing of high-end fashion and streetwear. Maison Margiela, under the guidance of John Galliano, has recently released a bulky air-force one-esque shoe as an homage to the classic Adidas shoe style.
“I’m the original Margiela madman, in the words of A$AP Yams / Smack the shit out a n***a in these skinny pants, feel me?”-A$AP Rocky ‘Multiply’
Audemars Piguet is a luxury watch manufacturer based out of Switzerland. This brands high-end watches have been referenced by many rappers, including multiple verses by A$AP Rocky.
“We use to wear rugged boots, now it’s all tailored suits / Audemars Piguets for my criminal recruits” -A$AP Rocky ‘Hell’
Watches are a common piece of Luxury jewelry loved by music fashion icons, including infamous brands like Rolex and Cartier. A$AP Rocky, along with other high profile rappers like Jay-Z, have liberally used the Audemar brand in their rhyme scheme.
“Audemars, season order like summer fall / I throw the Audemars, then I throw out all the ball” -A$AP Rocky ‘West Side Highway’
Cover Photo via Dior