Remember a few years back when all of a sudden, the entire fashion industry descended on A$AP Rocky and his unique brand of #SWAG? (Hood by Air... yeah, he “started that.”) Well, as a major hip hop fan, I hate to say it, but fashion is always on the lookout for a new hip hop mascot, and Travis Scott is indisputably it right now.
Over the past year, the rapper (aka “La Flame”) has starred in campaigns for Alexander Wang, Puma, and a short film for Saint Laurent. He’s a front row regular, and was the first influencer to don Louis Vuitton’s new collaboration with Supreme last week at its Fall 2017 runway show. Today, WWD announced that Scott (whose real name is Jacques Webster) has teamed up with Helmut Lang to design a limited edition menswear collection, which will be available on January 30.
I am absolutely #shook over this news. But it’s got nothing to do with Trav, who has successfully collaborated with brands before (Maharashi and Diamond Supply Co.), and created some of the most highly coveted, sold out concert merch for his exclusive pop-up stores (which have famously drawn Kanye-level hype).
What I’m baffled over is the Helmut Lang part of this story. When’s the last time you heard about Helmut Lang? It hasn’t been in the news much since creative directors Nicole and Michael Colovos departed the brand in 2014, leaving things to an in-house design team. So why the Travis Scott collab? And why now? Sure, a celebrity collaboration can do wonders for reviving a brand. I just question whether this is the right way to usher in a new era of Helmut. What would the old Helmut we came to love 20 years ago think of defibrillating his brand with a celebrity publicity stunt?
All of that said, I’m sure Helmut Lang x Travis Scott will be dope. The 19-piece capsule (ranging from t-shirts to jeans and bomber jackets) is reportedly inspired by the rapper’s hometown, Houston, and nods to his Texas roots with an earthy brown palette and landscape appliqué patches. The cool campaign art surrounding the collection, created by artist Sharna Osborne, features a Picasso-like sketch of a bull. Sign me up.