In 1999, the year after he launched Sean John, Puff Daddy became the first public face for how hip-hop could be haute couture. The rap mogul appeared opposite supermodel Kate Moss in Vogue, resplendent in furs and billowing overcoats, conquering Paris as Kanye West has in recent years. “I think the whole fashion culture changed with that Puff Daddy moment. I think Kim and Kanye are at the other end of that chain,” said Grace Coddington, creative director at large, to The Washington Post. Yet if Puff established how a rapper-producer, too, can appear so editorial, West, thanks to Yeezy Season, is more so proof of how high fashion’s relationship with streetwear is cozier than ever.
Call brands like Hood by Air, Off-White and Vetements whatever you want — streetwear, or, if you find that as constricting as the term “urban” — luxury sportswear. Either way, long gone are the days where high fashion merely appropriated trends, like when brands try their hand at baggy “hip-hop” trousers. Now, high fashion is catering specifically to hip-hop tastes, making everyday items with extreme craftsmanship. (Perhaps designers are, at last, listening to ‘Ye. “Sweatshirts are fucking important,” he said to Vanity Fair after Yeezy Season 2’s runway debut.) Fashion houses, not to mention Bergdorf Goodman, are now attempting to become one-stop shops for luxury streetwear outfits.
Such behavior is only further closing the gap between two worlds, as shown by five streetwear trends it co-signed this year.