The plight that comes with being a trendsetter is sometimes you see the things you love, the precious brands, the precious designers, sometimes you see them overdone and you see them done by the masses. So then you gotta switch it up.

Explain what the vibe in the room will be like at showtime on Friday.

Like I said, I’m bringing my American Sabotage to Paris. It’s going to be like a traditional retro Parisian show of everything my team and I created. It’s going to be a breath of fresh air. You’re going to see the best of the best people and you’re going to see some of the best designs coming down the runway.

Can you tell me who you’re working with on the collection? Your relationships obviously extend deep in the fashion world.

This was a group effort to make everything happen, especially while the clock is ticking as we get closer to the end of it. I’ve been working with [young fashion designer] Joshua Jamal, I’ve been working with my team. It’s been quite something, man. I’m excited for everybody to see what we are about to do. I’m working with Puma for sure. Also [burgeoning New York brand] J6 [by Joshua Garland], [the stylist] Matthew Henson. I’m working with [beltmaker] B.B. [Simon]. We’ve been going hard.

You approach projects with an extraordinarily particular taste level and eye for detail. How are you feeling about the complex production of a fashion show?

That’s been easy, bro. I’ve been courtside for 15 years now. How many fucking Raf and Rick Owens and Bottega shows have I been to? Alessandro? I mean Loewe, you name it, I’ve been there. Now it’s my time to show how I’m going to kill it, how I’m going to freak it. Now it’s my time.

Do you have a favorite piece in the collection you can describe for me?

I’m really excited by things that look aged, it just gives more of a story. Where I’m at in my fashion sense currently, I love that shit. I like everything to look used, like it has history to it. Because it’s so easy for us to just all make the same thing and fabricate the same thing, right? If everybody is getting fresh, what’s the next step for getting fresh?

And like I told you, this thing is inspired by American Sabotage. One issue is third-world countries with clothing landfills. We’re upcycling and trying to repurpose a lot of materials. It kind of tells a story in the backstory. Think about the person that had to fish through the mountain of clothes just to put something together and ship it back to a company that shipped it to a company that shipped it back to the States before it got into my hands. I just like to think of it from that perspective. And think about the people who set a lot of trends when they were behind bars, sagging pants, durags, stuff from the kids in hip-hop back in the early ’70s. This is a little bit of everything that I want to include into the show.

So there’s an upcycling component to American Sabotage?


When did that phrase pop into your head? Where did that come from exactly?

I was working on my album and I was thinking about being rebellious and the stuff that we’re not really allowed to talk about. It’s not about treason or nothing like that, it’s more about deciding to do things from a different perspective, taking the hard way instead of the easy way. And sometimes challenging yourself can come across as self-sabotaging. Exceeding time limits and deadlines, that’s self-sabotaging. So it’s also about talking about your flaws and the struggle that made you.

Right, it’s difficult to sabotage a system, and much easier to sabotage yourself.

I mean obviously oppression is definitely a key factor in American history, right? Like you said, we’re using the word in multiple ways.

What is your ultimate ambition with this project?

For me, it started in the US of A. It started with the Moors, it started in Africa. It started from ancient civilization and it traveled to North America and then it developed in the hood, the hood that I come from. It developed in Harlem, it developed in poverty, it developed in Manhattan, developed in beauty and diversity.

It developed in paradox, equality, inequality. It developed all these places. I’m just talking about my past experiences and it’s going to premiere in Paris. What I want to do is no different from taking a New York bodega and bringing it to Selfridges in London. You take something with artistic value and put it in an unfamiliar, radical foreign climate. And there you have art.

I almost forgot to ask, did you compose the music for the show?


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