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RAF: Rap's Latest Ode to Fashion

RAF: Rap's Latest Ode to Fashion

Frank Ocean's 'blonded RADIO' dropped "RAF", an A$AP Mob creation featuring A$AP Rocky, Frank Ocean, Quavo, Lil Uzi Vert, and Playboi Carti. Once you get past the initial (and lingering) hype of Frank Ocean rapping, the track emerges as an exemplification of rap's unique relationship with fashion.

“Please don’t touch my Raf
Bought a Kris Van Assche
Alessandra Gucci glasses
W. Anderson collab”
— A$AP Rocky, "RAF"
“Carti is being such a weirdo. It’s his first fashion show, and he loves Raf, so I get it. I was nervous my first Raf Simons show, too—it’s like that when you meet a legend.” — A$AP Rocky, Vogue 2017

“Carti is being such a weirdo. It’s his first fashion show, and he loves Raf, so I get it. I was nervous my first Raf Simons show, too—it’s like that when you meet a legend.” — A$AP Rocky, Vogue 2017

Belgian fashion house Raf Simons is known for its edgy yet clean vision, particularly emphasized after founder/creative director Raf resigned from Dior in 2015. As stated by Raf himself on his namesake label's website: "I dont [sic] want to show clothes, I want to show my attitude, my past, present and future. I use memories and future visions and try to place them in todays world."

All kind of crazy colors
Livin’ color
Left wrist, Rollie butter (ice)
Maison Margiela my sweater (Margiela)
— Quavo, "RAF"

Rocky has been friends with Raf for years, and clearly appreciates his philosophy—Raf's designs have been mentioned in Rocky's songs for years. However, while Rocky used to be known (or at least thought of himself) as the rapper with a penchant and understanding of high fashion/couture, this latest A$AP Mob track documents a new generation of fashion-savvy rappers (collaborator Quavo was partially responsible for rap trio Migos' 2013 hit 'Versace'; Frank Ocean sat adjacent to Kanye West front-row at Off-White's Spring 2017 collection during NYFW; Vogue documents A$AP Rocky introducing Playboi Carti to Raf's designs here). Of course, rappers have been paying homage to certain fashion houses for decades, but it's undeniable that fashion's influence in rap has risen exponentially in the past few years. Rappers are increasingly seen at high-profile industry events, such as the MET Gala just a few weeks ago. As the interconnection of rap and fashion only strengthens, it's exciting to see what future collaborations—on both industry ends—are in store.

Feature image via

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