Just what goes into making a mogul? Well, there’s vision, dedication, and in the case of A$AP Rocky, a healthy dose of swagger. The rapper, actor and fashion designer is front and center on Forbes fifth annual 30 Under 30 Issue, named as hip hop’s new fashion mogul.
The issue celebrates the 30 Under 30 Class Of 2016. Zendaya, John Boyega, The Weeknd, Stephen Curry and womenswear designer Azede Jean-Pierre are included among 600 tastemakers from the worlds of art and style, music, sports, social entrepreneurs and more. The At.Long.Last.A$AP rapper is an alum of 2015’s list, but he sat down with the magazine to discuss his foray into entrepreneurism as he builds his creative collective, AWGE.
“To be able to curate and manage my own business, I always wanted to do it,” he tells the magazine about AWGE, which does everything from designing album covers to artist management. He explains how he parlayed his humble beginnings as a mixtape artist from Harlem to modeling gigs with DKNY and designing a capsule collection for Guess to a full-fledged, multi-platform business merging fashion, culture and lifestyle. Rocky (born Rakim Mayers) says making the transition was completely natural.
“I just knew, because I’ve always had that fashion sense, that … taste. I don’t think you can buy that; I just had it. I knew what I liked. I was always precise.”
On comparisons to Kanye West’s DONDA collective, the “LSD” rapper says AWGE couldn’t be more different in its approach. “I’m going to say this: for me, DONDA didn’t accomplish enough yet for me to compare … I wanted to develop something that reflected the world the way I saw it. I wanted to make something for lifestyle, to put people into a new lifestyle.”
“I wanted to make some for culture, some for music, some for skating … How do you organize all that? About a year and a half, two years ago, I just came up with an idea of just being involved in something more than A$AP Rocky … I want to be in the field and be respected as a creator of original ideas.”
Click here to read the full interview with A$AP Rocky, which also appears in the January 18, 2016, issue of Forbes.
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