PHOTO: BRUNO STAUB for MR. PORTER/ / GETTY
New York City-based rapper A$AP Rocky's (govt name: Rakim Mayers) fashion aesthetic gets almost as much attention as his music. Rocky is profiled in the latest issue of Mr. Porter in a deluxe fashion editorial lensed by Bruno Staub. The Harlem MC is styled in many of the same brands that he name checks throughout his music, such as Maison Martin Margiela, Marc Jacobs, Givenchy, Jil Sander, Valentino and Raf Simons.
Rocky is asked if his masculinity is ever questioned because of his fashion aesthetic.
A$AP arrives at the MR PORTER shoot wearing clothes by Jil Sander, Balenciaga and Junya Watanabe, but, again breaking the rap mould, says he has no plans to set up his own fashion brand. "I don't want to. It would be disrespectful to take my stardom and bully my way into the fashion industry, because I didn't go to [fashion] school to learn about design, sketching and fabrics. I just enjoy it; I'm a consumer."
Given the macho nature of the hip-hop world I obliquely ask if A$AP's interest in fashion, and the cut of his jeans, have ever led people to call his masculinity into question. He responds bluntly: "People say I'm gay sometimes, but I have a lot of bitches so why would I care? It doesn't bother me at all. You know why they say that? Because they can't say that I suck, they can't say that I'm not handsome, and they can't say that my lyrics are wack, so they say that I'm gay because they don't have anything on me."
Not the most politically correct answer ... but his heart is in the right place. The questions (and response) are reminiscent of Kanye West saying that he was "secure in [his] manhood" despite the repeated questioning of his sexuality.
Rocky created something of a sensation when he recently attended Raf Simons' first collection for Dior at Paris Fashion Week last month. Rocky wore Shaun Samson "head to toe [including] earmuffs, a striped top and shorts," noted Complex.
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