It's been 18 years since Diddy first launched his clothing line Sean John. The music mogul's fashion venture has certainly evolved over the past two decades, going from elaborate runways to the racks at Macy's, but it continues to influence a new crop of designers—one of them being Kanye West.
The Washington Post has a sprawling and exhaustive feature on Sean John up today, and in it Diddy says that fellow rapper-turned-designer Kanye West told him that he had Combs' brand all over his mood board while creating his own clothing.
“I got a message from Kanye West the other day: ‘Look, you’re all over my mood board!’ Diddy told The Post. "When I’d do a collection, I’d do a mood board and put everyone who inspired me on my board. And now I’m on other people’s mood board. It’s humbling.”
The connection between Diddy and West makes perfect sense. In 2004, Diddy became the first African-American to win the prestigious CFDA Menswear Designer of the Year Award. His win proved that hip-hop can be high-fashion and it broke down barriers for those that followed, something that West continues to do.
“What fuels Kanye is what fueled me; it’s an opportunity thing,” Combs said. “He just wants to be heard.”
But, they didn't just follow similar career paths, Sean John's influence can also be seen in the Yeezy aesthetic. Fur coats, sweatpants, and oversized tees have all been staples in Diddy's collections. Much like 'Ye, Combs shared that his early inspiration came from iconic designers like Ralph Lauren and Tom Ford.
Now, a new generation of brands like Vetements and Rihanna's Fenty are taking cues from Sean Jean by mixing streeetwear and high-fashion. But, Diddy thinks West is leading the way.
“Kanye West is carrying the torch of Sean John," he told The Washington Post. "I’m very proud of him.”