Fashion Bromance: Hip Hop & Designers?

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We're all excited for the upcoming Jay Z x Barneys capsule collection, "A New York Holiday," which will include the likes of Proenza Schouler, Balenciaga, Balmain, Lanvin, The Elder Statesman, Acne, Rick Owens, and more. But, while the partnership between Jay Z and Barneys seems so natural, we'd be remiss to ignore how hip-hop artists' relationships with designers — and fashion in general — has taken on a new form since the aughts, as Fashionista writer David Yi notes. While old school rappers of the '80s and '90s worked with street wear and, like, bandanas, today's hip-hop artists are not only supporters of high-fashion designers, but muses for the creative houses as well.

Indeed, before Yeezy's claim to have created the leather jogging pant, and even before his partnership with A.P.C., hip-hop stars honed a baggy jeans look that all but completely separated them from the world of haute couture. But, as Yi notes, once the money started rolling in, so did a taste for luxury. Yi cites Tupac's '96 walk down the Versace runway as a pivotal point in this shift. Now, the artists are clad in designer duds, and their lyrics both shaming and exalting brands are rampant.

Though we certainly agree that a shift has occurred, and that Hova's collaboration with Barneys is perhaps the sign of times to come, we must also note that not all hip-hop artists have abandoned the uniform of the '80s and '90s: Earlier this year, Nas launched his HSTRY collection, which is comprised entirely of street wear. What do you think? Sound off in the comments below. (Fashionista)


2Photo: Via Fashionista.