Bad boys have style

DA MAN - Style - - Flashback -

When did high fash­ion fall for hip-hop? Run­way shows to­day are never com­plete with­out rap­pers or singer sit­ting at the front row. From Kanye to A$AP, they in­ject an ex­tra au­ral oomph to what is oth­er­wise a purely sar­to­rial mat­ter.

Some say this hap­pened be­cause of so­cial me­dia. Fash­ion has been de­moc­ra­tized; shows are not only meant to be seen by the in­vi­tees; the lines be­tween high fash­ion and street-wear have blurred. But when you think it through, th­ese are just the out­comes, but not the cause.

If you wind back time to al­most 30 years ago, be­fore Kimye, Drake and Phar­rell, the hip-hop look con­sisted mainly of over­sized gear and flashy bling. Some would siphon ideas from this lav­ish style; many more qui­etly sneered.

In that re­spect, Sean “Diddy” Combs was among the big­gest agents of change. De­spite al­ready be­ing a mu­sic mogul in the ’90s, his first cloth­ing line was put up at the same posh depart­ment stores that housed high­brow Parisian la­bels. And he hus­tled. From one run­way show to an­other, he brought in more and more A-lis­ters and de­signed more and more spec­tac­u­lar per­for­mances. At one point, he had Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Os­borne, now founders of Public School, work for the brand. Only in 2004 did high fash­ion truly rec­og­nize the qual­ity of his style by award­ing P. Diddy the CFDA Menswear De­signer of the Year Award.

Kanye West has some­what fol­lowed his path—and he did ad­mit Diddy’s in­flu­ence on his de­signs. In ret­ro­spect, high fash­ion never ac­tu­ally fell for hip-hop. They were the ones who hus­tled to earn the recog­ni­tion from those once-haughty Euro­pean houses. And to­day, even haute cou­ture gen­tly bows its head to th­ese busi­ness-savvy bad boys when­ever a new col­lec­tion is about to be un­veiled.

sean “diddy” combs pour­ing cham­pagne while wear­ing a chin­chilla coat and sparkly cross neck­lace

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