In 1994, Rakewon wore a blue/yellow/red pullover jacket in the "Can It Be All So Simple" video. The jacket—a Polo Ralph Lauren "Snow Beach" jacket—would go on to be an iconic piece of apparel in hip-hop. But at the time, Raekwon had no idea what he had started.
On the day of the video shoot, Raekwon went shopping for an outfit he could wear. "That day was a special day for me," he told Complex when he recently stopped by our offices. "I wanted to wear something that I felt could relate to my culture." The outfit was as planned: a baseball hat, jeans, and Air Force 1s. But that quickly changed when he saw the 1993 "Snow Beach" jacket at Abraham & Straus (A&S) in downtown Brooklyn, where he'd later pay a couple of hundreds dollars to buy the last XXL in store. "I just thought it was a dope jacket to wear," he says. "I felt like it was one of a kind because it seemed like this was the only jacket in my size waiting for me."
It was also important to him that he'd be the first one to rock the outerwear. "When I seen that jacket, the first thing I thought about was, 'Yo this ain't something I seen before. I could be the first one to rock this. When people start talking about it, they 'gon eventually say, 'Only one I seen with that jacket on was The Chef,'" he says. "That was my intentions of buying it. I was always a fan of Polo, but when I seen that, I felt like I was the only one who had it. So I jumped on it and wore it in the video. Next thing you know, the jacket became famous."
He's right. The outfit became so famous that it's still considered a grail piece among 'Lo heads. Not to mention, the price of these jackets have sky rocketed to thousands of dollars on the rare occasion they're still up for grabs on eBay. According to Dallas Penn, one of the biggest 'Lo heads around, the "Snow Beach" jacket is even more "renowned than the mythical (but real) cashmere teddy bear" and even more "valuable than any single piece of P-Wing emblazoned sweater or jacket."
Raekwon says he was surprised at how big, how famous the jacket became. "I would have never thought that people would really pay attention to what a person is wearing and really capitalize on it like that," he says. "I just wanted to have something on that day that was basically my style of clothes 'cause we've been wearing clothes like that ever since the '80s. When I seen it, I just felt like it was mine. When I rocked it, it popped off. It became one of those pieces."
His only regret more than 20 years after? Not having the original. "I guess after a while you just forget where you put stuff or leave stuff, and next thing you know it's gone," he says. "But put it like this, I wish I did have it."