A$AP Bari picked up fashion from the same Harlem streets he grew up on. Nowadays, he can barely walk the block without noticing someone imitating his style or wearing his Vlone apparel.

Mass Appeal recently caught up with the man A$AP Ferg compares to Basquiat to chat about his hometown influences, sneaking into streetwear stores as a kid, what's next for Vlone, and more. Check out a few of his answers below: 

On being called gay because of his style choices and influencing others now:
"I was just thinking about that the other day. I seen a dude wearing some tight sweatpants and he had colorful socks on and shit. I never used to wear colorful socks or shit like that, but most of the niggas you see nowadays wearing this shit— more fitted clothes, playing with the style type shit— that shit came from us. Just being in Harlem, going to stores, stealing clothes, trying on shit we knew we couldn’t buy [Laughs]. Kid shit. We always had a hands-on reach to shit. We wasn’t no motherfuckers that was on the blogs just looking at clothes. We were actually touching these Raf Simon pieces, KSUBI pieces, Rick Owens pieces, and Margiela pieces. All of that shit was in a 5-block radius of each store. I always went in those stores and touched fabrics, looked at the clothes and shit like that."

On his style influences:                                                                                                                
"Harlem, the train stations, the cabs, New York period. Just going to Brooklyn and knowing I’m from Harlem and no one was going to be as fly as me. Going to Queens and knowing no one was going to be as fly as me. Going to Bronx and seeing niggas as fly as me, but in Harlem we were always advanced. I was a kid that was down here in SoHo, but I was always in my hood as well. I would come down here and have to go back to my hood and chill with niggas from my hood after being down here chilling with niggas from Brooklyn, Queens, Long Island, the Bronx. It was just a different world down here in SoHo. Like, I used to skip school in junior high and get on the train and come to SoHo right after school. And this is all me being like 13 up until 15, when I started going to school down here. I was always sneaking my way to SoHo to come to BAPE, Supreme, Stussy, Union, Recon. I got the knowledge of all this fashion shit from being in the streets, from being in the trap houses, being locked up by the police, getting out of central booking and going to school the next morning. Moms ain’t even seen me. That’s why I wouldn’t call myself a fashionist, I would call myself a hood fashionist. I can tell you about hood shit and I can tell you about fashion shit in the same matter, you feel me. Most of these designers, nowadays, they get their inspiration from the hood. You’ve got Supreme, they get their inspiration from Wu-Tang and Mobb Deep. That’s hood shit!"

On releasing his first Vlone collection:                                                           
"It was crazy, b! Kids were patiently waiting for it and I was throwing out little shit. I’m working on much bigger things than t-shirts and hoodies though— doing a collection, doing a movie, doing fashion shows. I’m working on my next collection right now. Everything was sold out in the matter of a month. I just wanted to see if the kids were really motivated and really down for the cause, because I don’t just make clothes for just anybody, you feel me. I make clothes so you can wear that shit for a month straight. I want to make pieces that people can grow with or just be like, “Yo, I treasure this.” I want to make masterpieces. I’m not just here for the time being. I’m not a trendsetter. People might respect my style, but I’m not a trendsetter. I’m not a person that just starts styles and people are sick of it the next day."

Read the full interview here.

[via Mass Appeal]