Asap Rocky Apparel
I noticed the Rocky has been on the move in a major way with his recent imprint AWGE.
This step is noticeable and asking more of him as a creative within the most potent culture. Expressed directly and for a bigger purpose than pushing himself into the spotlight. Asap Rocky Apparel
Rocky collaborates with Ian Connor, Playboi Carti, and Luke Sabbat to name a few.
Definitely, it feels like art for the sake of expression. They’ve found an aesthetic and pressed forward with it in a vein similar to the influences he’s cited regularly. Master P’s No Limit and Houston’s DJ Screw. This is the same but on a higher level, the opportunity to reach more viewers and thus influence taste has never been higher.
This is what happens when someone that understands aesthetic has the money and time to build creatively. It reminds me of all that went into making Kanye’s MBDTF one of his most celebrated and in-depth works. All facets led to the experience of the music being phenomenal. And although Rocky isn’t as respected as a musician, he definitely has all the tools to make impact and influence visually.
Let’s take a dive and understand what’s likely to happen and where the movement could take us next.
Rocky would come to describe the relaunch of his Instagram as a’digital installation’, and it was that the world was introduced into 2 of AWGE’s core members: Robert Gallardo and Tan Camera. Gallardo and Camera (real name Kimi Selfridge), were imputed as the masterminds behind the project, together with Gallardo taking the lead on creative direction and Selfridge as responsible for much of the installation’s photography and design work. AWGE’s scope has not been restricted to music, however. In 2016 rumors of a potential collaboration with fashion critic favorite J.W. Anderson were confirmed, with Rocky frequently seen sporting the collection’s standout piece, a faux fur teddy coat. Similarly, the AWGE team conceptualized the stand-out collaboration with GUESS of Rocky. Buoyed by the success of their first collaborative collection, which sold out globally, and to coincide with the collaboration’s second iteration, AWGE introduced the’A$AP Rocky x GUE$$ Clubhouse’. The launch of the clubhouse, itself installation and a shop inspired by a’90s treehouse, welcomed in presence a who’s who of the Los Angeles scene that was creative. With these two high profile videos gaining wide-scale attention and countless perspectives, AWGE remained very much behind the scenes. Be expansive events, music videos, or it clothing, one thing is for sure: AWGE has surprises in store. In May 2015, A$AP Rocky relaunched his Instagram with a series of seamless, curated collages. When seen on any smartphone, Rocky’s feed could be scrolled through as a continuous visual experience, transcending Instagram’s conventionally format at the moment. In the midst of AWGEST, the AWGE enterprise unleashed what is the most complete realization of their vision to date, their Midnight Rave in Los Angeles. Titled after Shane Gonzales’ tag Midnight Studios, the Midnight Rave featured performances from designer and DJ Virgil Abloh, as well as members of the A$AP Mob themselves. Set in an abandoned L.A. warehouse, the area was carefully curated using Midnight Rave branding as well as a moving L.E.D bar over the DJ booth. The photographer’s work is instantly recognizable for its mixed media collage style, pop-culture references, and references that are off-the-cuff to brands such as Goyard and Palace. Since the relaunch, the DIY aesthetic of Camera has become a staple throughout the A$ AP Mob networking platforms.
It is perhaps notable since the inaugural project of the AWGE collective, the secret cabal of artists, stylists, and founders of A$ AP Rocky while, in and of itself, this undertaking was an important moment for the artist’s aesthetic identity. In this sense, it is a testament to the desire for secrecy of the collective that whilst always putting out content that is high-profile, AWGE has managed to continuously shroud itself in mystery. We reached out to some members of the team, but got the same reply:”The first rule about AWGE is you don’t talk about AWGE.” Besides the performances of the night, fans who were early enough were able to purchase a limited collaboration T-shirt Midnight Studios, by Abloh’s brand Off-White, and AWGE. Refusing to be restricted by the constraints of art management that is one-dimensional, it is perhaps in this multi-disciplinary, box-less manner that we will see AWGE venture in the future.
In describing her involvement to Complex, Selfridge says:”I made each collage by hand with various materials, including photographs shot on 35mm film and Polaroid film.” Though the day of the relaunch watched Rocky’s Instagram lose over 100,000 followers, this exceptional reimagining of his social media presence through daring, new visual aesthetics motivated many of the artist’s youthful followers to rethink their own Instagram profiles and ushered in a new era of iPhone curators. AWGE and fast forward two decades has stayed, by-and-large. While noteworthy A$AP affiliate Ian Connor often shouted out the collective, he stayed quiet. Since their first job, the emblem of the collective was seen in connection with almost all of the Mob’s creative endeavors. The crew’s profile was raised in August, however, when A$AP Rocky declared the aptly-titled AWGEST: a month-long takeover by AWGE and the A$AP Mob, which featured multiple record releases, culminating in the launch of the Cozy Tapes Vol. 2 and the launch of a new AWGE site and merch line. Seen on A$AP Mob members in the run up to the website launch, the merch collection featured trucker hats in red, green or blue, as well as a choice. What about the name itself — what the hell does AWGE mean? “No one should know what the letters stand for. We know what it is, and that is how we want to keep it.” The movie, a partnership with Red Bull, was a modern reworking of the cult French movie La Haine, shot by regular A$AP Mob collaborator, Dexter Navy, and featuring London grime artist Skepta. The film was bending its muscle, a workout in expression. The site’s”About” section clearly lists the members of their AWGE team. It.