On Sunday afternoon A$AP Ferg wasn’t scheduled to talk to Complex. But, as luck would have it, he just happened to be stuck in traffic on New Orleans’ Royal Street (where we were at) while on his way to the Voodoo Museum, and noticed a couple of high school friends in the neighborhood. Once he learned that 2 Chainz was about to take the stage he stuck around to catch up with us.
Cool, impromptu interviews always welcome.
While he was checking in he made sure to send shout-outs in the direction of James Harden and Nick Young, let us know that the follow-up to 2016’s Cozy Tapes Vol. 1 is coming soon, and also that he has his own continuation of 2016’s Always Strive and Prosper, which he personally guarantees will be lit.
Guess we’ll find out if he can follow through on that soon enough.
A$AP Mob continues its cultural domination with A$AP Bari’s Vlone streetwear line, which launched it’s Vlone x Nike Air Force 1 during one of New York Fashion Week’s buzzier pop-up events (Feb 10), on 116thStreet in Harlem, right up the block from where A$AP Mob spent their formative years.
As throngs of fans and sneakerheads crowded the streets outside, Billboard caught up with A$AP Bari to discuss all things Vlone.
Did you wake up one morning and know that Vlone was going to be the name of your brand?
At one point in time, I was broke. I didn’t have much, so a lot of things were connecting with me, like Kid Cudi’s “All Along” song. We were switching up the A to a V in the word “alone.” So the whole meaning came from alone, and then I switched it to Vlone, and made it my own and made it my own meaning which is “live alone; dive alone.”
What does black and orange represent in the design of your pieces?
Black is a solid color. It’s like orange is the new black. That’s how it all came about. It all came down to the Knicks’ colors being black and orange. That’s like the signature New York shoe.
Known by many to fall under the moniker of Harlem World, the nickname of an area filled with endless culture, inspiration and influence is a perfect fit due to it effortlessly being its own entity in comparison to notable boroughs within New York City. Aiming to continue a legacy carried on by names such as Pee Wee Kirkland, Ma$e, Cam’ron and an endless list of others, Harlem’s own A$AP Bari has managed to provide a creative vision for those who can relate to Harlem culture and its lifestyle via VLONE. Over time, VLONE’s popularity has skyrocketed thanks to a selection of limited releases of apparel and accessories in addition to spontaneous pop-ups, art exhibitions and spontaneous teasers. Now add to that the very limited release of the collaborative VLONE x Nike Air Force 1 Low. The silhouette was finally made avaible to the public via a special VLONE Pop-Up shop in Harlem, fittingly right next to Amy Ruth’s, as part of New York’s Fashion Week.
As you step foot into the VLONE x Nike pop-up, you’re engulfed into the essence of Harlem during New York City’s summer scene, despite remnants of a previous snowstorm gracing the edge of sidewalks and street corners. Collaborative VLONE x Nike Basketballs grace concrete-like displays while photos of notable Harlem locations, the A$AP Mob and much more grace the walls complemented by orange detailing. You’ll find the aforementioned summer aesthetic via the pop-up’s special basketball court which dons VLONE’s traditional colorblocking of black and orange — complemented by an orange chain-link fence as its surrounding and topped off with a black chain-link net to give off an unexplainable New York City sound each time a shot is taken and made.
While visiting the VLONE x Nike pop-up, we chatted with A$AP Mob member and VLONE co-founder A$AP Bari on Harlem’s impact to culture as a whole, favorite memories surrounding the Air Force 1 model, the future of VLONE and much more.
Today, ASAP Bari is finally opening the doors to his weekend-long VLONE x NikeLab pop-up in Harlem. The pop-up, located at 113 West 116th St., will carry various VLONE items, including the insanely hyped Air Force 1s, clothing, accessories (a headband, basketball, and pins), and white AF1s that will be customized by an artist on the spot.
We stopped by the pop-up yesterday for a media preview. By the time we left, there was already a line—hours before the pop-up even opens to the public. While we were there, we spoke to Bari about VLONE, whether or not he ever expected the brand to get this big, and if he’s planning a wider release for the special AF1s. Of course, we also had to ask the question on everyone’s mind: What’s up with the VLONE x Nike AF1 high he teased?
Last winter, the A$AP Mob dropped Cozy Tapes Vol. 1: Friends. In addition to cuts best fit for hustling, partying and lavish living, fans who listened were also treated to intimate interludes that featured the clique’s star rhymers A$AP Rocky, A$AP Ferg and friends talking about how “Cozy” they are.
“Yesterday,” Rocky says at one point in a bodega, “I came through with the Valentino shorts with the fu*king white and red pinstripes on them motherfuckers.” The Harlem rapper, who recently became the first black male face of Dior and also refers to himself as “That pretty motherfuc*er,” goes on to detail more of his outfit before punctuating it with “Too cozy.” Rocky’s buddies confirm his status with laughter and by echoing the term.
Billboard spoke with Trap Lord designer Darold “A$AP Ferg” Ferguson, Jr., who recently attended his first Paris Fashion Week with his pal Rocky, to explain what it takes to be cozy while walking us through his favorite cozy look from Fall 2017 Men’s shows and sharing his collaborative goals for the year.
A$AP Rocky tells Vogue who he would invite to his ultimate dinner party, what advice he wishes he could give to his teenage self, and why he thinks women do everything better, as he stars in Zalando’s spring/summer 2017 Remix Fashion campaign.
What is the one thing you wish you could tell your 16-year-old self?
Be patient, it will be pretty great later on in your life.
What is the most treasured item in your wardrobe?
I don’t have just one item in particular. I really love my Alexander Wang boots that he has made for me every other year.
Over time, VLONE has managed to gain a faithful cult following thanks to its creativity and collaborations alongside the likes of Virgil Abloh’s OFF-WHITE, as well as Nike. In the latest issue of French-based Dull magazine, VLONE’s own A$AP Bari announced the creative entity’s future plans, expressing that VLONE’s current state of popularity is only the beginning.
Check out a portion of the conversation with Bari below and read the interview in full in Dull‘s latest issue, available on shelves now.
Are you married to fashion? Will you always design clothes?
My whole thing is clothes, food, music. That’s my whole shit. Anything that I’d like to produce is either clothes, food or music.
I was always into food. Before I was into clothes, I was into food. When I was younger, you know, being from Harlem, it was music first, then food, and now clothes. That’s all we do. But, I was always into cooking, you know. My uncle taught me how to cook at a young age.
Could you see VLONE doing its own spin on food?
Yea. Hell yea. Most definitely. I’m trying to be on my Nigo shit. I gotta get a VLONE barbershop. A VLONE cafe, a VLONE parfait. VLONE everything.
Brittany Sky sits down with A$AP Twelvyy and A$AP Ant for the first installment in her new Boss Talk series. They shared their personal interests outside of music, their views on internet girls, and some of their most intimate thoughts about the late visionary A$AP Yams.
Never doubt the power of the Internet. For Playboi Carti, it changed his life. All 18 songs on his SoundCloud page have over one million plays, including “Broke Boi” and “Fetti,” which have collected over 13 million plays each. “I feel like niggas really be on my shit,” says the young rapper. “That’s why I’m picky about what I put on my SoundCloud. That’s why I’m taking time with my [first] mixtape. I‘m going crazy. If you look on my tracks, bro, it shows you my progression.”
Growing up in South Atlanta, the 21-year-old MC (born Jordan Carter) dabbled with hip-hop, but didn’t decide to take it seriously until his voice deepened while in his senior year at North Springs High School. Upon graduation, Carti moved to the Big Apple borough of The Bronx in order to focus more on music and change his scenery. Over the next eight months, he focused on recording and making relationships in hip-hop, especially with members of the A$AP Mob and sporadically put out a handful of songs to moderate success.
A$AP Nast, the rapper and 26-year-old cousin to Rocky, stands by a rack of clothing. He inspects the fabrics and fits with unusual precision and tries on a pair of ballooning Yohji Yamamoto pants. Nast’s love of fashion is emblematic of a movement in rap, one that the A$AP Mob collective has popularized and propagated. At this time, the job description of the hip hop star has ventured into areas previously unknown—from mentoring fans in his Instagram comments to preferring thrift shopping field trips over breakfast. Nast’s grunge-inspired music taps into the soul of ultimate teenage angst to create work that represents the hybridized magic that is the future of hip hop. And the collective that surrounds him has perfected the solitary art of this rewritten rule: loneliness is fun when you do it together.
Kevin Pires spoke to A$AP Nast on a rainy LA evening about what it means to be a rapper for the new millennium, the communal listening habits that define us, and the style that took him worldwide.