paris loves hip-hop, and hip-hop loves paris
Balmain salutes Kanye while Travis gets lit at Givenchy; fashion's hip-hop ties have never been stronger.
The intersecting center of the venn diagram that is hip-hop and fashion grows larger every year. Of course, the dialogue between each discipline has always been open, but never before have artists simultaneously practiced in both realms so freely. We're thinking of Kanye West's two seasons of Yeezy as the paradigm example of the change: he is, undoubtedly, the artist who led the rapper-cum-designer charge. But A$AP Rocky's collaboration with Guess, A$AP Ferg's partnership with Astrid Anderson, and Alexander Wang's team-up with the Weeknd also deserve shout-outs.
We've entered a new era, where rappers do more than just lend their names to sneakers. They're not name-checking designers in songs, they're becoming designers themselves -- or something close. It's made both hip-hop and fashion all the more exciting.
This new era was in full, fabulous swing throughout Paris this week. Travis Scott sat front-row at Givenchy, before giving a surprise performance at the label's afterparty. Virgil Abloh had his close friend A$AP Nast close out Off-White's runway menswear debut -- although he was hardly wearing the label. Nast walked in the clothes he arrived in: a Supreme tee and Palace sweats, with an Off-White x Midnight Studios shirt tied over his head.
The Balmain show also paid tribute to a rap star, and there's no points for guessing who. The French fashion house soundtracked their runway with slew of longtime supporter Kanye West's older hits. Fall/winter 16 might be readying us for the cooler seasons, but fashion's romance with hip-hop has never been hotter.
Image via @travisscott