Since first appearing on YouTube with "Purple Swag," swag has been a part of A$AP Rocky's life mantra. He proved his influence early on in the game by bringing new brands to the forefront, repeatedly reminding his fans of all the rare fits they should purchase to look jiggy just like him, and ultimately establishing himself as the go-to fashion consultant for musicians both male and female. Sporting the flyest fashion over the years, Rocky has transformed from streetwear god to high-end icon while maintaining credibility in both, and breathed new life into "aspirational" style. Here are a few things we've learned from him along the way.
"Don't be cliché, I'm anti-bandwagon"
2010: Although A$AP began his career in streetwear designer garbs, he quickly evolved past it. Let's just call this period a phase in his life. Early on, he was notably seen wearing Bape, Billionaire Boys Club, Pigalle, Hood by Air, and Off-White, but this was short-lived. He would later denounce many of these brands and we still do not know why.
"If you enjoy shopping, you can go anywhere to find jiggy pieces"
2011: A$AP eventually transitioned into a minimalist, sporting all-black outfits with bright pops of gold. You can source these infamous Versace frames depicted here just about anywhere now, but notice that the shades and jewelry were what made this simplistic look so fly.
"It's just clothes; I dress for what appeals to me."
2012: At this point of being an established star, Rocky was willing to experiment—peep the cheetah print Supreme towel on his head a la Juelz Santana.
"In fashion you have to set the bar and raise it."
2013: The turning point. Now accepted as a trendsetter, A$AP began to be the face of ad campaigns and magazines all over. This was one of the first times we got to see Rocky in high-end garments. And although the photo is intended to be stark and rugged, Rocky added a touch of his personal flair through his positioning and facial expression. His ability to always insert his personal style increased his popularity, making him one of the most coveted entertainers in the fashion circles.
2014: As a widely-celebrated trendsetter in his candid moments, he still maintained his preference of streetwear apparel. However, he accented each outfit with accessories. Here, he takes advantage of the summer scarves and jewelry, even picking out a tricked-out Stussy jacket with leather sleeves.
"Be unique and independent with your style."
2015: As a self-proclaimed "Fashion Killa," Rocky has the ability to switch up his style effortlessly from the front row to the centerfold. Although he was likely styled for this shoot and the complementary printed scarf and tortoise shell glasses make the outfit pop, I somehow believe that the ribbed white tank was his idea. It gives nod to his street appeal and strikes a balance between fancy and casual.
"Dress casually when appropriate."
2016: For the most part, Rocky now dresses casual and comfy. But that's not to say that what he is wearing isn't tailored and made with the finest threads. Here, he marries his laidback attire with shiny dress shoes which shows his creative versatility. And the incorporation of his accessories and accented pieces is where he thrives.