Vogue reports that the fashion influence of A$AP Rocky and the rest of the A$AP Mob crew is well established by now.
Their playful mix of streetwear staples and runway pieces has captivated the fashion world for years; they’re quick to rap about their favorite brands (and even diss some others who have fallen out of favor). And while you may have noticed when Rocky closed out the Hood by Air runway in 2013 or when he modeled in Dior campaigns earlier this year, some of the more underrated members of the mob have just as much swagger, performing at fashion events, creating their own lines, and stunting on Instagram in some truly outlandish looks. And while the Harlem collective may be unified by their love of flair, each member of the mob has their own distinct trademark. Whether it’s Rocky’s archival Raf garments or [easyazon_link identifier=”B074TTVNL6″ locale=”US” tag=”harlemworld-20″]A$AP Nast[/easyazon_link]’s collector’s spirit, they each bring something different to the communal table. And with the release of their new album, [easyazon_link identifier=”B074TXF8RD” locale=”US” tag=”harlemworld-20″]Cozy Tapes Vol. 2: Too Cozy[/easyazon_link], it seems high time to take a closer look at their individual style.
A$AP Rocky: The Raf Obsessive
A$AP Rocky may be the collective’s most visible and vocal sartorial fanatic. The fashion establishment has certainly embraced him, from renowned houses such as Dior to boundary-pushing brands like Hood by Air. But there’s really only one designer who has captured Rocky’s heart, and that’s Belgian menswear designer Raf Simons. “RAF,” one of the singles off [easyazon_link identifier=”B01M5GGH0Q” locale=”US” tag=”harlemworld-20″]Cozy Tapes[/easyazon_link] (and one of the album highlights), was accompanied by a very stylish video that was essentially an ode to Simons’s first 1995 collection, replete with extremely rare pieces from some of Simons’s earliest collections. While most of the clothes in the video were pulled from the label’s archive, they were supplemented by some from Rocky’s own closet as well. Rocky and Simons have become bonafide friends over the years, and the rapper recently graced the Met Gala red carpet wearing a sleek all-black outfit designed by the [easyazon_link identifier=”B074VBB87S” locale=”US” tag=”harlemworld-20″]Calvin Klein[/easyazon_link] chief creative officer, declaring himself and his associates as “the Raf gang out here.”
A$AP Ferg: The Young Tastemaker
In spite of Rocky’s visibility in the fashion world, it’s perhaps A$AP Ferg who is the collective’s earliest adopter of high fashion. His father owned a boutique in Harlem out of which he printed shirts and other merchandise for record labels such as [easyazon_link identifier=”0064472884″ locale=”US” tag=”harlemworld-20″]Bad Boy Records[/easyazon_link], and he passed down his sartorial knowledge to his son, dressing young Ferg in Versace and [easyazon_link identifier=”B00FJW4LKY” locale=”US” tag=”harlemworld-20″]Prada[/easyazon_link]. So although Ferg, who now cites [easyazon_link identifier=”B00TL1P1WG” locale=”US” tag=”harlemworld-20″]Ralph Lauren[/easyazon_link] and [easyazon_link identifier=”B01LZIKFHG” locale=”US” tag=”harlemworld-20″]Alexander Wang[/easyazon_link] among his favorite designers, has a style that’s certainly all his own—he’s even started his own socially-conscious streetwear line—he has his father to thank for those early high fashion sensibilities.
A$AP Nast: The Collector
A$AP Nast, who recently modeled in Converse and Carhartt WIP’s collaboration, is also quite vocal about his singular personal style, proclaiming himself a “Prada boy” on social media. He’ll even post vintage items on Instagram that he’s hoping to identify, including this early ’90s Comme des Garçons blazer that he found thrifting in New York City [LINK]. Nast fashion tastes are wide-ranging to say the least; he’ll wear a minimalist, contemporary streetwear one day and switch things up with a throwback plaid pants the next.
A$AP Twelvyy: The Designer
A$AP Twelvyy just released his solo debut 12 earlier this month and has been releasing merch since last year. He has plans to expand the brand, [easyazon_link identifier=”B0751MLJH1″ locale=”US” tag=”harlemworld-20″]Last Year Being Broke[/easyazon_link], into a bonafide empire, with an accompanying music label and even a sports team. And while this all may sound a bit ambitious, it’s clearly a testament to Twelvyy’s commitment to his designs, which he frequently sports on Instagram. Twelvyy may not be the only Mob member with his own brand, but he’s certainly the idealist of the group when it comes to the potential of his line, which features all-white sweatsuits and athletic shorts, all of which are emblazoned with the “LYBB” logo in bold text.
Playboi Carti: The Young Eccentric
Playboi Carti may be a new artist orbiting the [easyazon_link identifier=”B074TXF8RD” locale=”US” tag=”harlemworld-20″]A$AP Mob[/easyazon_link] constellation, but one would be remiss to talk about the style of the Harlem crew without giving at least an honorable mention to the young Atlanta-born fashion wunderkind. Carti also just released his self-titled debut mixtape a few months back, but he’s quickly gaining a reputation as one of the crew’s most daring artists when it comes to his look—he’s as likely to pair minimalist skinny jeans with a [easyazon_link identifier=”B072JLS4RL” locale=”US” tag=”harlemworld-20″]Raf Simons[/easyazon_link] button down as he is to sport a rainbow-colored patchwork T-shirt. At the ripe old age of 20, Carti is becoming the newest style chameleon to watch.
Photo credit: 1) Courtesy of RCA Records. 2) Courtesy of ASAP Rocky / @asaprocky. 3) Melchizedek Gayle / @meltheking. 4) Courtesy of A$AP Mob / @asvpxnvst. 5) Justin Aversano / @justinaversano.
- Chicago’s Hiplet Channels The Dance Theatre Of Harlem And The A$AP Mob (harlemworldmag.com)
- A$AP Mob – “RAF” Video (Feat. A$AP Rocky, Playboi Carti, & Quavo) (stereogum.com)
- A$AP Ferg – “Nasty (Who Dat)” (Feat. Migos) (stereogum.com)
Harlem Cultural Archives is a donor and foundation-supported Historical Society, Its mission is to create, maintain and grow a remotely accessible, online, interactive repository of audio-visual materials documenting Harlem’s remarkable and varied multicultural legacies, including its storied past as well as its continuing contributions to the City and State of New York, the nation, and the world. Support Harlem Cultural Archives and click here to get more Harlem History, Thank you.