ASAP Nast is hesitant about giving out what exactly influences his style. When asked questions about his taste in fashion, he gives terse answers and prefers to not go into great detail about what informs his looks today. He simply explains that his ever-evolving taste is attributed to maturing, traveling the world, and submerging himself in new experiences. Between attending Copenhagen Fashion Week last year to drop his own capsule collection and making new tracks that blend ’90s grunge with hip-hop, Nast has found himself constantly evolving as an artist. But when it comes to his style, he gives a lot of credit to his mom.
“My mom, she was just ghetto and had great style. She was one of those ghetto girls in like, the ’80s and ’90s who had on the door knockers, a Triple F.A.T. Goose bomber jacket, the high-rise Lee denim, and the Reebok classics,” remembers Nast on the phone. “That particular style or look always just kind of followed me as well. I just always appreciated my mom from that kind of standpoint of fashion. I think it carried me a long way, especially the ’90s [style].”
ASAP Nast’s hardcore fans wouldn’t be surpised to hear that his favorite decades to reference are the ’70s and the ’90s. When it comes to style, Nast is a time traveler of sorts who effortlessly blends the past and present. During the early days of the ASAP Mob, he rocked camo fatigues like a member of the Boot Camp Clik, along with the latest styles from Supreme. Nowadays he wears archival Comme des Garçons or Issey Miyake pieces along with mohair Marni sweaters and slime green Arc’teryx rain jackets. Unlike rappers who chase fashion trends and buy gimmicky jewelry, Nast is out here carving his own lane with style that’s informed by his own personal tastes, which includes everything from vintage muscle cars to photographs of Harlem in the 1930s.
His love for the past is what influenced him to collaborate with the Italian sportswear brand Sergio Tacchini for their Spring/Summer 2021 campaign shot by Sandy Kim. Founded by the Italian tennis player Sergio Tacchini in 1966, the brand is known for having brought style to tennis courts before being adopted by street cultures worldwide. The label’s unique position as a tennis brand that’s resonated with both tennis champions like Novak Djokovic and rappers like Biggie Smalls, is what made Nast want to work with the brand.
“Where I’ve grown up, Sergio Tacchini has always been one of those brands that was just a staple. But no one’s actually told the story properly of Sergio Tacchini,” says Nast, who is particularly fascinated by the brand’s presence in various subcultures. “So many people know, but they don’t know. From [Sergio Tacchini’s presence in the] drug game during the ‘80s, the rap game, and soccer hooligans in Europe—that was one of my favorite reasons for wanting to sign on with those guys, as I’m heavily into that kind of thing right now.”
Here, we talked about new music, his love of Air Maxes, how his time in Catholic school still inspires his style today, and why Sergio Tacchini resonates with him.
Around this time last year, you were at Copenhagen Fashion Week releasing your Please Don’t Pet capsule collection with D33J from Pangea. How did you start making your own clothes and have you designed anything else? Is there an ASAP Nast clothing brand on the horizon?
I’ve got a little bit of everything on the horizon right now. I don’t want to speak too much to it because I like catching people off guard when I do these special things. Yeah, I have a little bit of everything coming.
How would you describe your sense of style today in comparison to what it was back then?
I’d say [right now] it’s a little bit, or for a while, it was couture. And [my style is different because] I was just younger back then.
What’d you think caused that change?
Growing, traveling, and experiencing different things.
Do you think you’re the best-dressed rapper out right now?
I mean, I guess. Yeah, for sure.
You mentioned that your style is heavily influenced by things like old cinema and other relics of the past. What do you think is the best decade of fashion personally?
That’s kind of hard. I feel like every decade has had their moment in fashion and it plays a larger role in the present time. However, I would have to say the ’70s and the ’90s for me.
Why’s that exactly?
I feel like I just have my own reasons and I’d like to leave it there.
I read that your mom used to dress you up in Prada back in middle school. How did your mother influence your style, like such a young age?
My mom was just the shit. She was who I looked up to. I can’t always say I appreciated the way she dressed me. Even as a kid, I always kind of wanted to do my own thing. My mom would tell me one thing, and I would do something different. However, my mom was just the shit at the time. I definitely looked up to my mom. You know, your mom is your hero. Your mom, your dad, these are the heroes in your life. These are the people who inspired me from a very young age. My mom, she was just ghetto and had great style. She was one of those ghetto girls in like, the ’80s and ’90s who had on the doorknockers, a Triple F.A.T. Goose bomber jacket, the high-rise Lee denim, and the Reebok classics. That was my mom. That particular style or look always just kind of followed me as well. I just always appreciated my mom from that kind of standpoint of fashion. I think it carried me a long way, especially the ’90s.
I don’t know if you guys know, but I’m such a huge fan of Nike Air Max. That was my mom’s whole thing as well. In the ’90s, my mom had all the Air Maxes. She had all the 95s, 97s, and TNs. At one point, me and my mom wore the same size. I had a big ass foot. I wore all her Air Maxes to school and was switching up the colorways. I had my own shoes, but I’d wear hers just as a plus because I had more, you know? That always kind of stuck with me, so I’ve always been a big Air Max fan. Even now I’m sitting in my living room and staring at five pairs of different Nike Air Maxes in front of me right now. It hasn’t changed. These are things that have stuck with me as I’ve grown. Obviously, I’ve matured and the way I like to dress myself has completely changed. But for the most part, there’s so many aspects of the way I dress now that have kind of been with me forever. They’ve always been a big part of my life.
I was about to ask you what elements of your style have stuck with you since you were a young kid growing up, but I guess you just answered that right there.
Definitely that for sure. I also remember going to Catholic school for a while so I wore uniforms. I’d always be in dress shirts with ties, khakis, and chinos, or just dress pants in general. Then, we wore the Hush Puppies. All that stuff kind of stuck with me as well. Things I kind of had to wear that I fucking hated it at the time. But as I grew, I would repeat those things back into my own personal taste and style. It works for me. Clearly, what works for me and for a lot of other people as well. They know that, too.
I see you still rock Polo today and stuff like that.
Is there anything you can share about new music, from you or the ASAP Mob, in the near future?
Yeah, sure. A lot of new shit coming. We’ve been working a lot together. Everyone’s got their individual stuff on the way as well. I got so much music I’m triggered to release it right now. Expect something actually very, very soon.
Got you. That’s dope to hear. Lastly, Sergio Tacchini’s such an iconic brand especially within hip-hop and New York City culture. Biggie Smalls, LL Cool J, Fat Joe, are just a couple of New York rappers who were into the brand’s iconic jackets. What motivated you to collaborate with the brand, and how does it personally resonate with you?
They reached out to me, and of course I was like, fuck yeah. That’s a part of the culture for me. Where I’ve grown up, Sergio Tacchini has always been one of those brands that was just a staple. From the fucking drug game in the ’80s, to the rap game, to actual sports games. It resonated with so many different scenes for different reasons, but all for one reason of it just being such a great fucking brand. Obviously it’s a tennis brand, but people are going to wear it how they choose to, and so many people take from it how they take from it. It’s just a legendary, classic brand.
But with those guys, no one’s actually told the story properly of Sergio Tacchini. It’s a brand that’s so identical to so many different industries, and no one’s told the story of that brand. When they reached out, I was more than happy. I was honored to come onboard with those guys in a collaborative effort to make something happen. That story happens to be old. So many people know, but they don’t know. I can’t even say it’s a, “If you know, you know” brand, because it’s been everywhere. Like I said, the drug game in the ‘80s, the rap game, and soccer hooligans in Europe—that played a major part and was one of my favorite reasons for wanting to sign on with those guys, as I’m heavily into that kind of thing right now. Yeah, it’s a legendary brand, and I’m really looking forward to putting people on the brand through a collaborative effort with them.