An exclusive interview with the rapper about his new collection, out this spring.
It’s a heady time to be G-Eazy. This week, the 28-year-old rapper kicks off a North American tour to promote his just-dropped album The Beautiful & Damned (yes, it’s inspired by the Fitzgerald novel). Earlier this fall, G-Eazy and fellow musician Halsey announced their relationship through a series of Fashion Week cameos and steamy Instagram photos. And now, G-Eazy is announcing his status as H&M’s latest design collaborator—and Ford Models first-ever signed rapper. The former puts him in a new category of famous person, next to household names like David Beckham and The Weeknd. Like those collections, the G-Eazy x H&M range will take inspiration from the rapper’s personal style—with some tour merch sprinkled in for good measure. It drops on March 1st at H&M stores worldwide, as well as online.
“G-Eazy is such a cool guy, he defines the menswear moment right now and it’s been a real pleasure to work with him on these sharp pieces,” Andreas Löwenstam, H&M’s men’s head of design said in a statement. “We love his unique take on streetwear with tailoring, and his love of checks and vivid color.” We caught up with G-Eazy during the H&M campaign shoot in Los Angeles to learn more about the lineup.
GQ: You’re a rapper but your style leans a bit punk or rock ’n’ roll. How has music influenced the way you dress?
G-Eazy: My taste in music is very eclectic. It has been my entire life. I grew up in the Bay Area, which is a very diverse, multicultural area. I was exposed to a lot of different styles of music, a lot of different cultures. My aunt and uncle played in a surf rock band. Me and all my friends listened to 2Pac and Mac Dre and E-40. So rock ‘n’ roll and contemporary hip-hop both really influenced my style and my music.
How does being from California play into how you put yourself together?
I love my Vans. And skate and punk culture inspires me, which is big here. I love the Red Hot Chili Peppers. The Bay Area is a really special place in particular, with a whole lot of history to learn about and be inspired by. Everything from the Summer of Love to the Black Panther movement to the Hyphy movement, which was happening while I was growing up here, happened in the Bay Area. Hyphy was led by in part by Mac Dre who was this totally eclectic and flamboyant icon of style and culture and music. If you mash all that up in a pot, you can see where I came from and what I draw from as an artist.
Even though you have all of these crazy style references your style can be quite pared down though…
Yeah, at the same time, I am also really a minimalist to the heart. I believe in being understated and doing things well or not doing them at all. When it comes to clothes, I appreciate details. A good fabric or the right cut is everything.
It’s easy to see that in your collection with H&M. It’s a pretty tight edit of your personal style, with all of these really simple, streamlined cuts. It’s not all over the place.
Yeah, the best collaborations happen when both sides really play to their strengths. When I talked to Andreas [H&M’s men’s head of design] about the collection, I basically just told him what I’ve been into wearing recently and some of the things that inspire my style. And he brought all of this experience to the table of knowing what sorts of things H&M could execute really well at an affordable level. We both wanted to make sure it was tasteful and felt like it was of good quality. Today there’s so much noise and so much stuff, so we wanted to make sure we could cut through the noise with these clothes. To get there, we just chiseled away at the ideas until we had an edit that we were both totally happy with.
While there all of these tailored pieces and traditional menswear fabrics, it doesn’t feel at all “business man”.
Yeah, I never want anything to be too on the nose. I like bringing together different styles, worlds, or decades in everything that I do. I might sample a song from the ‘50s, or wear something that’s kind of retro, but I’ll add something modern to it. Like the tropical print shirts in the collection feel like they’re from the ‘50s, but I’ll wear them with skinny black jeans, black shoes, and a black jacket so that it was a little bit of edge to it.
What’s your favorite piece in the range? What are we going to see you wearing soon?
I love the three-quarter length jacket. It’s something that can be styled in sort of a dressed up, traditional way, or in sort of a punk way with skinny black jeans and creepers or dress shoes and a graphic T-shirt. I have really long skinny legs and I’ve always loved that style of jacket, which accentuates that silhouette.
It’ll be interesting to see if it’s the tall, skinny guys who embrace the collection when it hits stores.
Even though I’m designing for myself, when I’m on tour, I often see guys who look just like me coming to see the shows. They have skinny black jeans and leather jackets and they get their haircut just like mine and slick it back.
Are we going to see you wear these jackets and shirts with your chest showing? I know you like to do that.
Yeah, you guys made fun of me for that. When you’re wearing a red velvet Saint Laurent shirt and leather pants and you’re performing at the VMAs for the first time, yeah, you get a little bit confident. I was definitely feeling myself. [Laughs]
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