Kanye – the G.O.A.T of aphorisms – once declared that ‘design will save the world’. I mean, it’s hard to see how a pair of fresh crepes will save world hunger, poverty and nuclear threats. But, on a smaller scale, Yeezy’s designs at least signalled a change in the way that musicians endorse clothes. Instead of simply whacking on some sponsored garms to smile for the flashing lights, artists are taking fashion into their own hands and crafting bespoke designs for them – and the mere mortals that love ’em – to wear.
It’s not only Kanye that’s done this. Take the Weeknd and his H&M line, packed full of street and sleek inspired jackets to try to find a mix between the casual and the couture. Or Beyonce and her Topshop activewear label Ivy Park, which (probably) singlehandedly increased gym membership and Nutribullet sales overnight. And Asap Rocky’s work with Guess was pretty special; it was all about striped tees and sharp streetwear. It’s exciting to see artists translate their musical creativity into fashion. It might not always work, but at it’s best there seems to be a direct style connection in their tunes and their textiles.
The interesting thing about this trend is that power is brought back to the artists. They are wearing stuff they actually rate – after all, they drew the sketches themselves – and turning it into a business opportunity for them and fashion labels. It’s a form of agency, rather than involuntarily sporting something their agents have told them to shove on. I mean sure, they’re still milking the collective cash cow of fashionistas and getting gallons of dairy dollars in return. But it’s still more interested for the artists to be designing than to be designed for. One thing though – please, please make sure that ‘Ed Sheeran x ANYONE’ never happens – best he keeps his shabby unchic style to himself.
Words by Kyle MacNeill – TVC in-house blogger