On Friday the 13th, a crowd of free spirits gathered at The Delancey in New York's Lower East Side for the unveiling of rapper Vic Mensa's 93PUNX fashion line.
Inspired by the spirit of punk and his own unique style, the atmosphere wasn't like your average fashion show where models just walk a runway and do a little turn. The grungy, loud and energetic venue space with a bar allowed for the models to perch atop structures and in front of a makeshift fence and urinals while rocking out. A pop-up and tattoo artist were also there.
We asked Mensa about the collection and his inspiration before the show, here's what the rapper had to say:
1. The collection is heavily inspired by your love of punk, why did you choose to unveil it in NY?
"New York City matches 93PUNX intensity, its edge. This is clothing with stories; literal blood, sweat & tears so to be in the city of 8 million stories is only right."
2. Having experienced New York Fashion Week, what are your thoughts about live shows versus some brands that just do lookbooks or videos/etc?
"What I try to do with music, clothing and all other forms of storytelling is create worlds; welcome people into a universe, a reality or fantasy that is immersive. That’s why I love live shows because they give an artist an opportunity to inundate someone into their environment."
3. What's your creative process like in terms of ideation to final product and how do you choose which garments get specific designs?
"The creative process for these clothes often begins with the vintage pieces themselves. 93PUNX is the creation of myself and Conrad Muscarella, who does all the construction and production of the pieces. We look for garments that have had a life before us, and give them a rebirth. I keep a list of words and phrases we often put on the clothing, as well as patches, pins, studs and other things we use. Primarily, however, our inspiration comes from life, from the things we see, the places we go. On the way to Japan last year I saw this massive ripped poster wall in the airport and thought it would make an amazing clothing design, so Conrad found a way to make a leather jacket and matching pant covered in posters and polyurethane. We also have a Converse shoe to match."
4. Who are some of your biggest inspirations?
"One of my biggest inspirations is The Clash, musically and stylistically. They underwent so many transformations from their '77 style to the combat rock era to when they were wearing suits; I love evolution. Another primary inspiration for me is Pharrell. Me and Conrad both credit skateboarding with being our biggest stylistic foundation, so of course Skateboard himself is a primary inspiration."
5. For aspiring artists/designers, do you have any words of advice?
"I always tell young artists the same thing; find what makes you unique and run with it. It’s so much doper to experience the real life of someone riding the subway than someone pretending to drive a Maserati. Be radically individual, that’s what 93PUNX is about. A lot of people have told us we play the kind of music we do or dress how we want to because of our race, sexuality and plenty of other boundaries placed upon us by society. We say fuck that! Be yourself."
Check out the full lookbook which was shot on-scene below. In related news, Kith celebrates Def Jam's 35th anniversary with a capsule collection.