We did an Instagram post a while back on my personal biggest style influences. I felt as though the subject deserved a bit of a deeper dive, as the styles of each of these individuals serves as inspiration for the aesthetic we aim to create at the Venture Syndicate.
Mac is an individual who needs absolutely no introduction. I know that I am not alone when I say that Mac’s music has consistently stayed in my rotation from the moment he came on the scene in 2010. ‘Piffsburgh’ and ‘K.I.D.S.’ was literally how I learned to download mixtapes off DatPiff. I could write this entire blog on Mac but I digress….
Besides from making hit after hit, Mac’s style and personality played a huge role in his rise to fame. He had a carefree, living life to the fullest attitude that came through in everything he did – especially his wardrobe. Mac could turn a simple snapback, hoodie, and pair of Nike’s into an iconic outfit. Add in a pair of round sunglasses and tattoos to toe and you’re left with a look and vibe that just not anyone could pull off. Mac did it though and it seemed near effortless.
Mac routinely referenced fashion in his songs:
“And I learned it from the best,
Always dressed in somethin’ fresh…..
Yes they heard I used to rock Guess
But now I’m rocking clothes that ain’t in the stores yet”
– Best Day Ever, Mac Miller
Kanye is another individual who needs no introduction. He stays in headlines 24/7/365 - lately for less than desirable reasons. Although we do not agree with his current viewpoints, it is hard to talk about streetwear brands without mentioning Kanye. Ever since vowing to become the best-dressed rapper in 2004, Kanye has served as a leader of the streetwear culture alive today. From striped polo’s, to shutter shades, to his more recent Yeezy projects, he has never been afraid to go against the crowd, often leading the pack when it comes fashion. This has led to him working with some of the largest fashion houses and companies across the globe. Studying Kanye’s earlier work with Pastelle and building the Yeezy brand have been extremely insightful as we figure out where to take the Venture Syndicate brand.
As Kanye says, “I’m a designer that raps. Not the other way around.”
If you are active in the hip-hop music scene, I guarantee you have come across some of Cole’s work. Cole is a videographer, having directed all of the top hip-hop music videos over the past few years. He is also the genius behind the multimedia company Lyrical Lemonade.
For me, what I admire most about Cole is the creative process that he puts into all of his works. He appears to be someone who can hear a song and instantly have the entire music video figured out in his head. Watching some of his behind the scenes clips and then seeing the final music video is absolutely amazing. Whether the song is more hype/beat focused or tells a story, Cole always seems to know how to capture the vibe perfectly.
Cole’s ability to create masterpiece works of art is something anybody in a creative industry would do well to study. Definitely check out the Lyrical Lemonade YouTube channel if you haven’t already.
When it comes to fashion, Virgil Abloh is undisputedly one of the most influential individuals of the 21st century. What he accomplished in both the streetwear and luxury clothing spaces is nothing short of iconic. He is right up there with Kanye in having built the streetwear aesthetic and culture as it stands today. Through collaborations with high-profile celebrities, musicians, and artists, Abloh turned his streetwear brand Off-White into a fashion powerhouse. High fashion began to realize that streetwear could no longer be ignored (thanks to Virgil) and he ultimately landed an Artistic Director role at Louis Vuitton.
Side Note: There is a great video clip out there where Virgil discusses how he prefers to have multiple large projects going at one time. Something to do with helping him stay creative and pushing himself past his limits. I think about this video, no lie, probably once a week whenever I feel that I am taking on too much. If I can find it I will post the link.
Virgil has extremely insightful takes on a variety of topics, not just fashion. His book ‘Abloh-isms’ is high up on my wanting to read list.
Travis Scott & A$AP Rocky
I’m going to pair these two individuals together because it is more or less the same idea. I think that most people know who these two are. If you don’t they are rappers responsible for some of the best hip-hop songs to come out over the past decade or so (can you tell I like music???). Outside of music, both Travis and A$AP Rocky are known for their sense of style. Travis tends to go with more typical street looks while Rocky opts for more big name designer pieces. They’ve both been involved in high-profile collaborations – Travis with Nike and Dior and A$AP Rocky with Raf Simmons and Guess.
For the Venture Syndicate brand, I definitely see us leaning more towards Travis’ streetwear style as opposed to A$AP Rocky’s high fashion looks. However, A$AP’s ability to put together his own unique outfits is definitely something to be admired (most celebrities just hire stylists). Let’s just say, there’s a reason they call him Lord Pretty Flacko Jodye…
As always, dare to venture.