Here’s the thing about my relationship with A$AP Rocky: he doesn’t completely know we’re in one. I don’t want to call us dating dating either — he’s seeing other people, I’m seeing pictures of him with other people so it’s fine, but where we have something truly special is in his ability to dress like the fashionably-adventurous-without-looking-cartoonish person I wish I could be.
Leandra often talks about how good designers elicit in their admirers the sense of, I could be that girl. So is it impossible to think that I could look at A$AP Rocky and say to myself, I could be that guy? But you know, as a girl.
We’re consistently celebrating and approximating men’s style. But at this point, labeling fashion with gender is practically as irrelevant as trying to assign it a time period; everything is cyclical, everything is fluid. Everyone is borrowing from everyone else. It’s nice, it means we really did all learn to share. What’s interesting is no longer that we want to steal sweaters from our great grandfathers or jeans from our boyfriends but rather, that we have the ability to develop a fascination with a style that’s quite different from our own.
Part of A$AP Rocky’s style comes from his unadulterated confidence. He even refers to himself as “that pretty mother fucker.” But swagger and a cocky smile can only get you so far in fashion if your shoes are wack and your outfit’s basic. Instagram commenters will tell you so. In this industry, you have to be able talk, walk, and wear it. Rocky’s clearly done his homework.
“She got a lotta Prada, that Dolce & Gabbana / I can’t forget Escada, and that Balenciaga” he sings in “Fashion Killa.” This isn’t the impressive part. Artists have been rhyming with Prada since the design house has been around (oh, you’ve never heard that one hit from the early 19th century?) and 50 Cent paired “Prada” with “Gabbana” long before A$AP Rocky.
Where he picks up speed is his nod to Helmut Lang — a classic, Alexander Wang — the wunderkid, followed by his name-drops of Jil Sander, Ann Demeulemeester, Thom Browne, Rick Owens, Raf Simons. A$AP Rocky is, if nothing else, a major peruser of Style.com.
We know he endorses Hood by Air and he’s been around at fashion week the past few seasons. But immersing yourself in clothes doesn’t automatically make you stylish — it’s personality first, and then something aesthetically inherent second. Consider his affinity for high-buttoned collars, for jeans that run a bit tighter than his music genre’s historical norm. Think about the way he embraces color, sports shorts like a surfer, wears black like Emmanuelle Alt, treats a suit as an outfit (as opposed to an occasion-appropriate requirement) and wears big, bold prints with pride.
He very well may have a stylist. Almost all of the photos shown are from photoshoots and in the massive well that is an “A$AP Rocky” search on Pinterest, we’ve edited. But I can’t help but believe that his say in what he wears is louder than other artists’ — that Steve Zissou hat and blue leopard jacket above had to have been his call. Which is why, even though I wouldn’t personally wear head-to-toe Birds of Paradise à la Givenchy men’s 2012, I wish I could. He makes me want to be that guy. Or girl.
This I could more than handle.