By now, if you pay attention to men’s fashion—and if you read Complex—you know that A$AP Rocky dresses well. To be fair, the Harlem native has a lot working in his favor to help him in that respect: a body type that designers like to dress, a stylist with good taste, and that specific swagger that most musicians (and pretty much all successful rappers) have, a confidence that makes them seem instantly cooler than anyone else around them. It helps that he’s a fan of fashion, which endears him to designers throughout the industry.
The latest creative director to bless Rocky with a gift from the style gods is Gucci’s Alessandro Michele. Rocky has worn Gucci before—notably to this year’s Grammy Awards in February. But, today, Rocky rocked a Gucci look to the label’s Cruise show at Westminster Abbey in London that was fresher than fresh-off-the-runway, because some of it was never even on the runway (which is a flex if there ever was one). Rocky’s jacket was part of Gucci’s men’s Cruise collection that was previewed online a few weeks ago via a lookbook distributed by the label. Sidebar: A cruise collection, if you’re wondering, is a separate collection that designers create outside of their spring and fall lines. It’s all outdated terminology based on when rich, white ladies used to go on vacation and couldn’t be seen in the same clothing they wore on their last vacation. All you need to know now is that Rocky’s look will be in stores in the winter. And when it is, you might actually consider wearing it.
The fashion world has been cuckoo for Gucci-puffs ever since Michele took the reins just over a year ago. If you don’t believe me, just Google Michele's name, and you’ll find plenty of fashion writers popping wood over his reinvention of the Italian label. Often, that kind of adoration from the fashion press is a sure sign that a collection is completely unwearable, but in this case, it’s not. The “new Gucci” is actually quite wearable, despite how over-the-top, gaudy, and extra extra it may appear. But, to make it work, it requires a little bit more of you than it does of someone like Rocky.
Or, more accurately, it requires a little bit less. Rocky can wear things we can't and look great in them, like he did today. You and I probably cannot. How can we address that? Well, put simply: Don't try to wear Gucci how Rocky does, or how Gucci runway models do. In fact, don't wear any collection the way that designers present it. For the most part, designers are only allowed to work with their own clothing when styling their fashion shows, ad campaigns, or lookbooks. That's unfortunate, because it presents a very limited view of how their clothing can actually be integrated into your existing wardrobe, and immediately makes some collections seem inaccessible. No one actually looks at a Gucci ad and thinks, "Yes, that floral suit, those crocodile loafers, and those semi-opaque, oversize, red-tinted sunglasses are great for my job interview," or, "That's just the pair of jeans with embroidered tigers and a matching jacket with a sequin peacock that I've been looking for!"
Beyond just Gucci, though, no normal human being should ever wear head-to-toe anything unless you work for the designer, or are sleeping with them. Or both! But, anyone can take pieces of a collection—even one as bold as Gucci—and wear them without looking like a Zoolander stand-in. It's just up to you to look through the styling to figure out how those pieces can work for you.
So, no, you don’t need to be Rocky to wear Gucci. Now, when it comes to being able to afford Gucci…Well, then you might actually need to be Rocky. The label is at times so expensive, that after you pool your hard earned cash together to buy something—especially the uber-coveted outerwear, like a nylon bomber jacket that will set you back more than 100 freshly minted Harriett Tubman $20 bills—you might be left wondering if your funds would be better spent elsewhere; on food, perhaps, or a tax deductible charity donation, or the adoption of an endangered African white rhino. Like my mother always said, “Just because they make it in your size, doesn’t mean you should buy it.” But, that, my friends, is another story.