You don't need to look below the neck to see that Rae Sremmurd have emerged as rap's most stylish duo—just take Slim Jxmmi's trademark Gucci goggles and Swae Lee's collection of vintage frames as proof. Jxmmi and Lee (whose Billboard 200 Top 10 album, Sremmlife 2, was released in August and named one of our best of the year) boast an over-the-top style that mirrors 2016’s high-fashion ambitions. They’re loud like an Ami sequined coat, larger than life like a Vetements bomber, and, like Prada's shirt of the season, unafraid to work with disparate elements that shouldn't mesh on paper, but somehow come together perfectly. In a nod to their nowness, their promise, and their bid to be recognized among rap’s biggest stars, we chose Jxmmi and Lee to model the best looks of 2016, gear from a crop of new designers to watch, and a collection of undisputed classics from the archives of online used-clothing marketplace Grailed.
In a crowded fashion landscape, key pieces from reliable heavy-hitters like Prada and J.W. Anderson emerged as clear high points that will be remembered for years to come.
We’ve selected some of our favorites from 2016—Rae Sremmurd’s swag not included.
Anybody who wanted to stay up with fashion this year—and had a few grand to drop—found at least one Vetements piece to take home, from Future to Frank Ocean, Travis Scott to, yes, Celine Dion. This oversized bomber jacket is a statement piece you can actually wear.
Prada’s Impossible Love shirt was so bold and memorable that it helped propel the venerable Italian label onto our year end list of the best men’s style brands. Co-signs from Kanye, Virgil Abloh, and Pusha T solidified its spot in fashion history.
Alexander Wang alexanderwang.com
Life is a party when you’re Alexander Wang. Need further proof, other than his notoriously wild fashion week events, his AW16 campaign set at a house party, or his noted love for attending raves? Check out this sweater, featuring the silhouette of a stripper on a pole. Wang just wants to have fun..
Givenchy pants mrporter.com
Adidas Stan Smith sneakers adidas.com
As is fitting for a collection inspired in part by “fantasy in clothing,” J.W.Anderson’s fall range featured some exaggerated, fantastical designs, like this full-length, extra-baggy cardigan. Some artful wear and tear makes it extra memorable, whether or not you opt to wear it without a shirt underneath like Slim Jxmmi.
Acne Studios jeans mrporter.com
Nike Air Force 1 sneakers nike.com
Coach has seen a resurgence recently under creative director Stuart Vevers. Nobody made cooler, more over-the-top luxe furs this year than the classic New York label.
In a fall collection that offered an embarrassment of riches in terms of classic clothing you can buy once and wear forever, Ami’s sequined topcoat is a notable, so-crazy-it-works left turn. If you can pull this one off, you can pull off anything.
Constantly searching for that new-new? Getting to know these seven emerging brands, all on the cusp of breaking out in big ways, can give you a leg up on your style competition.
Designer: James Flemons
The androgynous, boundary-pushing collection out of L.A. favors deconstructed, denim-based creations that have been worn by everyone from Miley Cyrus to Dev Hynes to Solange.
Devaux New York deveauxnewyork.com
Designers: Matt Breen, Patrick Doss, Andrea Tsao
Deveaux gives classic men's pieces a luxury facelift, then mixes and matches them with tweaked takes on wardrobe staples.
Landlord jacket landlordnewyork.com
Designer: Ryohei Kawanishi
This Brooklyn-based label takes cues from military style for clothing that’s ultra-functional but doesn’t scrimp on eye-catching details.
Pleasures T-shirt pleasuresnow.com
Designer: Alex James
The new kid on L.A.’s streetwear block specializes in graphics that pay tribute to heroes of art and pop culture, creating what the designer calls “wearable expressions.”
Palm Angels pants and slides palmangels.com
Designer: Francesco Ragazzi
Ragazzi, a photographer and art director by trade, combines his creative eye with the spirit of L.A.’s Venice Beach skate community for a collection that is equal parts rebellious and refined.
Daniel W. Fletcher shirt and shorts danielwfletcher.com
Designer: Daniel Fletcher
Originally from Northwest England, Fletcher creates playful designs that take inspiration from the diverse cultures and rapidly changing landscape of his adopted hometown, London.
Auxiliary sneakers the-auxiliary.com
Designers: Graeme Gaughan, Matthew Taylor
The creative team behind London menswear label Tourne de Transmission has set its sights on footwear, with special attention given to luxe detailing other brands ignore.
Nothing gets a hypebeast’s blood pumping like hard-to-find items from cult favorites Supreme and Undercover. Both of these tees made it into the Grailed 100, the site’s curators’ annual picks for the top pieces available for sale. Good luck getting your hands on either.
Undercover T-shirt Mid-2000s
J.W. Anderson Trainer Boot sneakers
Supreme T-shirt 1999
Nike Air More Uptempo sneakers
Dries Van Noten jacket Spring 2014
Dries Van Noten is the fashion insider’s favorite designer. The Belgian designer has been the subject of widespread admiration since he launched his label in 1985, the subject of museum exhibitions, documentary films and department store windows alike. This jacket from Spring 2014 perfectly embodies his attention to detail and eye for vivid patterns.
Raf Simons x Sterling Ruby Fall 2014
Designer Raf Simons’ partnership with artist Sterling Ruby, a personal friend, dates back to 2009, when Ruby loaned his hand to bleached denim for the Belgian designer. Then, in 2014, they unveiled a full collection created together that included this neon orange sweater. The meeting of the minds resulted in pieces every true menswear collector has their eye on eternally.
Helmut Lang coat Fall 1999
Helmut Lang may not be on the tip of everyone’s tongue in 2016, but before he left his eponymous label in 2005, the Austrian designer built a reputation for high-end, innovative design. This coat with a splashy fur trim is an example of pieces that fit right into his wheelhouse: refined, but with a subtle, unexpected twist.
Haider Ackermann pants Fall 2015
Adidas Superstar sneakers
Raf Simons x Sterling Ruby coat Fall 2014
The Simons x Ruby collection is the collaborative gift that keeps on giving. This jacket, featuring patchwork art along the trim, was part of the powerhouse Fall 2014 line that had attendees chomping at the bit for a piece of their graphic, unmistakable work.
Blackmeans pants Year unknown
Vans Vault x WTAPS sneakers