Is Rocawear's Jimi Hendrix Collection Predicting 2013 Rap Fashion?


by Julianne Escobedo Shepherd
Photo via Dr. Jay's
Photo via Dr. Jay's

In Rocawear's most interesting — and possibly definitive — move since they had every grown-ass woman clad in velour jumpsuit dresses, the Jay-Z-founded streetwear brand is unleashing a capsule line based on the life and times of Jimi Hendrix. Taking the concept beyond track jackets and Tim-style boots, the Roc has introduced tie-dyed denim jackets and pants, sleek commemorative sweatshirts, and button-downs in a groovy, dandy-paisley print and American flag-inspired star patterns. And, miraculously, they got the "okay" from Hendrix' notoriously protective estate to use his image, making for at least one nice sweatshirt and a Hendrix dot matrix face tee — and a classier counterpart to the collegiate Hendrix T-shirt collection that launched in Bloomingdale's in early November.

Photo via Dr. Jay's

Obviously, Rocawear's love for Hendrix came at an opportune time: the internet's been abuzz with shots from the forthcoming Hendrix biopic starring André 3000, and though there won't be any official songs in the film, Three Stacks has been intriguingly coy about the plot. He's also been seen around New York wearing a kind of 21st Century Hendrix look: not double but triple denim in overalls with a free-love slouch and a rip at the knee. At the same time, the world will be regaled with new Jimi music next year, via outtakes from final album First Rays of the New Rising Sun. (Bonus: Future's next album is called Future Hendrix)

Since 2012 was all about rappers flossing black leather and mean-mugging in Rick Owens, we're feeling a brighter, more ebullient, Hendrix-inspired landscape for Spring next year. And there've already been allusions to it: both Future and 2 Chainz have been embellishing their particular Hotlanta street vanguard looks with Hendrixian flourishes, like loco prints and top-ish hats, Meanwhile, Danny Brown is like Jimi's wilder looks incarnate. SO incarnate! And have you seen your boy Trinidad Jame$ lately, taking to Atlanta streets doing shirtless in a vest like it's nothing? Add in the infallible badassitude of Hendrix's military jacket and neckscarf look, and we predict hip-hop stars will take their style even further in the coming year, becoming less beholden to rote street looks and more interested in flamboyant Black excellence. Wiz, you were simply slightly ahead of your time.

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