Hip-hop and fashion have been intertwined for decades. The genre’s biggest stars have long since immersed themselves in the fashion scene, while conversely, fashion has considerably drawn from hip-hop culture.
Many will argue that hip-hop currently dictates the tone of men’s fashion, and this largely began with Kanye West, well before the debut of his YEEZY line and collaborative partnership with adidas. From his influential tree, so to speak, are multiple designers who are now owning the fashion industry, namely Virgil Abloh, in addition to Heron Preston. For those unaware, Abloh was once Kanye’s creative director and confidant, while Preston was previously an art director for West. As Abloh and Preston have rightfully secured their place among fashion’s elite, now the question is: who’s next?
In The New York Times recent profile, the publication pinpoints the upcoming generation of streetwear innovators, including Bloody Osiris, Brick and Du of B.STROY, Ev Bravado, and Tremaine Emory.
At the young age of 25, Bloody Osiris has already served as a stylist, designer, and as the Times puts it, “a mood-board disrupter, a natural talent who sees tomorrow clearly.”
“He’s almost like a psychic reader of designers,” says Virgil Abloh. “He has an ability to not see fashion as just objects or garments. He’s like Iverson — ‘I don’t wanna practice, I just ball.’”
Notably, Osiris was also one of Kanye West’s YEEZY models at his Madison Square Garden show in 2016. Virgil Abloh then flew Bloody to Paris just a year later to contribute styling inspiration for his Off-White™ runway show. Since then he has gone on to model, creative direct, style, runway walk, and even ghost design for several established brands.
Tremaine Emory, who works under the name Denim Tears, has been selling T-shirts with imagery of his mother — who passed away in 2015 — for the past three years and donating the proceeds to Every Mother Counts, a nonprofit aiming to improve conditions for mothers.
Virgil Abloh says of Emory, “Tremaine is drawing parallels with actual moments in culture that are 30, 40, 50 years deeper, and ultimately re-contextualizing the black image. His clothing won’t simply be stuff for the closet.”
Emory is also a part of No Vacancy Inn with Acyde Odunlami and Brock Korsan, a brand who has collaborated with New Balance. For their first release, they had kids participate in an essay contest about reparations in order to win a free pair. Additionally, Emory has teamed up with Stüssy and Off-White™, with collabs alongside Levi’s and Champion to come.
Brick Owens and Duey Catorze of B.STROY are anticipating needs with their designs, creating garments that serve a purpose and can be worn multiple ways.
“The most daring in street wear. I think they’re trying to do something you won’t normally find on a rapper’s back,” says Heron Preston. “Every time they do something it’s always out of the boundaries, just a bit different.”
B.STROY has remained independent since moving from Atlanta to New York, although Du, for one, has worked with Matthew Williams on his FW19 1017 ALYX 9SM collection. Brick and Du also spent some time with Kanye West out in Calabasas, California.
According to The New York Times, B.STROY collections are a “blend of high-concept pieces and sly tweaks to more conventional forms.”
Lastly, Ev Bravado is known for his denim expertise, from distressing to embroidering and beyond. Bravado was fortunate to have his father, a tailor, sew his samples and cut his patterns when he first got into design. He says his dad still helps him when necessary to this day.
“He’s pushing denim in a really interesting, unique way. And how the denim stacks over the shoes — it’s not really bell-bottom-y, but it’s a little flared. It feels like the new New York fit,” says Heron Preston.
Bravado connected with Preston via Instagram before collaborating on a pop-up rhinestone workshop in Paris just last year. Since, Bravado has worked with Virgil Abloh as a designer for Off-White™. It isn’t just about collaboration for the designer, however. He has expanded and renamed his own brand “Who Decides War by Mrdrbrvdo.”
You can learn more about fashion’s next generation of stars — Bloody Osiris, Brick and Du of B.STROY, Ev Bravado, and Tremaine Emory — by heading on over to The New York Times.