When it comes to creative industries, it truly is a small world after all. That's why so many creatives — whether musicians, actors or otherwise — often flock to the fashion sphere. There's also this small detail: there's a lot of money involved in the very lucrative fashion industry. With the uptick in "merch" this past year — that's to say, influencer-branded merchandise — the lines are blurring all the more.
Puma has found resounding success in tapping Rihanna to have her own line. In the time since, both Puma and other companies have devised brand partnerships between celebrities and fashion companies, though none as impressive or successful as Fenty Puma.
But RiRi wasn't the first hip-hop head to make her way into fashions. In fact, hip-hop celebs paved the way for modern-day white famous celebs to collect their respective merch coin. With lines like Rocawear from Jay-Z, Sean Jean from Diddy and Baby Phat from Kimora Lee Simmons, the proof that Black celebs did it first is abundant.
Without further ado, here are 11 celebrities who have crossed over into the fashion world.
With Ye out of the game, RiRi has stepped up and stepped into the role of fashion's favorite hip-hop darling. Her Fenty Puma line, which started in 2016, has garnered runway buzz and a cache of dedicated fans alike. With its subversive vibe and RiRi co-sign, it's no wonder Fenty Puma is the new fashionista mainstay. Rihanna's recent jaunt into the beauty industry only solidifies her takeover.
Before the Fenty era, Yeezy was the most legitimate answer to a successful hip-hop fashion crossover. Since Kanye has stepped out of the public eye in late 2016, the buzz has somewhat worn off, further exacerbated by the last-minute decision to cancel his most recent runway show. In any event, the Kanye effect is still very real. Celebs continue to rock Yeezy no matter the brand's status, and the mono, basic themes he built his brand off are still trending seasons later.
Bey's athletic-minded Ivy Park line first dropped in 2016 and hasn't slowed down since. It's most recent campaign cast a radical array of diverse folks that might just be one of the greatest campaigns of all time (GCOAT).
Aubrey has turned OVO into a legitimate clothing line. Though it probably saw its height in the "Hotline Bling" era (remember when everyone had to have a hat and phone case?). OVO still does legitimate collabos on the regs. Recently, they teamed with Clarks to create the classic shoe with tiny owls embossed on them, because owls are spooky, reminiscent of October and very wise, making them the perfect OVO emblem. Also, owl starts with an "O." Clever!
Tracee is an OG fashion bish. In her youth, she walked the runways for some of the most important designers in the world, including Thierry Mugler. She just so happens to be Diana Ross's daughter, as we all know, so she no doubt picked up some style tips along the way from her mama. Her first fashion line effort was just recently announced with JCPenney, which we previously reported on. Items start at just $12 and will be available online and in-store starting November 12.
Diddy was truly one of the first to do it, putting hip-hop fashions both on the map and in the mainstream. With Sean John, first launched in 1998, athleisure began slowly assimilating itself into the fashion world at Diddy's direction. Sean John is still a thriving brand today, perhaps a testament to his craft. (He won the prestigious 2004 CFDA Award for Menswear.)
A trust fund baby and embodiment of early 2000s fashions, Nicole Richie always had the money to pull off whatever look she wished, although early outfits skewed self-proclaimed "LA trash."
A decade later, Richie's refined style, a more nuanced take on the boho she famously mainstreamed in the early aughts, materialized into House of Harlow, a vintage-inspired line. The label started as a jewelry line in 2008 before Nicole transitioned into designing clothes as well.
The second major hip-hop infiltration of the fashion world, Diddy being first, was Jay and Dame Dash's Rocawear line. Started in 1999, the athletic-minded company has been immortalized in rap lyrics and is still thriving today.
Our girl Gabby Union first debuted a collection with New York and Company this past summer. Per her Insta, it appears she may be teaming with them for future drops.
Pharrell has been a fashion killa for some time now. Starting with Billionaire Boys Club and Ice Cream, which recently came back for an encore drop, Pharrell has proved himself with sought-after collabo after collabo. He's even served as a Chanel model multiple times. If Karl Lagerfeld messes with you, you know you're a real one.
Koko launched Good American in a Keeping Up plot that seemed to reach in terms of the stressors placed upon the expectations of the company's first drop. But you know how TV loves a good happy ending, so ultimately it was all fine and good.
The idea behind Good American, that women need different dimensions of jeans than what is currently available, is rad. Truly, honestly, we're sick of paying for hemming. Shoutout to Kokes for having our back.
In the time since, Good American has expanded to other offerings such as bodysuits and t-shirts.
(Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images, Isaiah Trickey/FilmMagic/Getty Images, Kevin Mazur/Getty Images)
For the past 10 years, Yusef has been dictating all of the beauty trends we emulate via his most famous client, none other than Rihanna. He started out his career as a performer, but he ended up behind the scenes. In Hairstory, he details his rise in the industry from aspiring singer to creative directing the hair for Fenty x Puma.