Bad boys have style
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