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Mauve Men: How Jay-Z inspired more soft tones in menswear

“I like that pink, man!”

A spectator utters at the January 2020 Roc Nation brunch. Jay-Z turns and corrects the voice as he ‘dust his shoulder off’;

It’s mauve, bro.

Possibly the highest level of stunting we’ve seen from Hov in a while. He’s got the color game down too.

JayZ at Roc Nation brunch, January 2020. Paper Mag
JayZ at Roc Nation brunch, January 2020. Paper Mag.

The flamboyance of radiant, bright colors has been associated with feminine attire for as far as traditions go.

But since the early 2000s, through the bold choices of rappers like Cam’ron and Fat Joe who decided to wear pink and make a fashion statement, have broadened the idea of a masculine wardrobe.

More than just a salmon-colored button-down shirt to complement your suits, the ‘pink-polo’ era solidified masculinity as a catalyst for change – at least when it comes to drip – where “real men wear pink.”

Even more contrasting, women have taken to more solid, darker, neutral, and earth tones, something you can see in the Scandi girl style aesthetic.

A minimalist style of dress, it takes on masculine tailoring in boxy suit jackets with wide-leg pants, formally of our father’s closet.

Cecilie Thorsmark, CEO of Copenhagen Fashion Week in Scandi girl attire.
Cecilie Thorsmark, CEO of Copenhagen Fashion Week in Scandi girl attire. GETTY.

Most to do with a muted look but accentuated with sturdy fabric, the cut of the clothing, and how the garments draped over the body. The particular wearer is usually engulfed in material, but chic and fitting nonetheless.

Men have been wearing softer colors more than ever. Thanks to menswear designers,  the male body has been envisioned in softer tones and delicate materials.

Away from dark, charred leathers, heavy deep blue denim, nylons, and anything that absorbs sunlight. That aesthetic has been shared and passed on to the girlfriends.

Designers like Kim Jones, Cahraf Tajer, Simon Port Jacquemus, and Virgil Abloh, have induced a color palette that dilutes the a-typical masculine look we are used to.

Florals, mosaics, color blocking, and illustrious print design have dominated the heat coming down the runway.

Designers are over with the average suit, over hard denim, and opting for playful ideas. Adult fun is sewn into serious clothing and play on the irony of hyper-masculinity.

Men today are more open to floral and mosaic patterns. Softer, more neutral tones are welcomed. Bright hues on delicate fabrics are ushered in through storytelling of designers, reflecting on simpler days well before the 2020 pandemic craze.

This is something designer Simon Port Jacquemus referenced for his Spring-Summer 2020 Paris Fashion Week runway show in the lilac fields in France and used to a similar scene following.

For his SS 2021 show, he presented in a French wheat field. Where the beige and khaki earth tones of the landscape were reflected in the clothing.

Colors: light blue, mauve, carnation, powder blue, sky blue, baby blue, seafoam blue, pumpkin, tangerine, beige, khaki, mustard, banana, mulberry, hibiscus, violet, imperial, fire brick, lime, and other shades adjacent; have graced collections for men.

Luxury brands like Jacquemus, Rhude, Pyer Moss, Casablanca, MSGM, Louis Vuitton, and Dior have all play the game of tones with softer hues. Or even brighter hues with refined fabrics and manufacturing that are familiar with luxury menswear.

Alessandro Michele took over Gucci as the creative director in 2015 and brought floral-design to the surface of streetwear and menswear alike.

Adding floral embroidery not only to suiting, Michele applied the design to washed blue denim and tennis sneakers and proved that menswear needed to breed life. The trend flourished on social media and Gucci’s stock rose.

Gucci embroidered denim jacket with shearling. GUCCI.

Even Rick Owens has included pink into his seasons’ neo-goth aesthetic. The all-black Goth-God has included a somber fire brick tone and traditional a pink color into his SS 2021 collection.

Items like a sandal-boot, tank tops, shorts, and shiny pink, and yellow, Tecuatl shoe poke fun at the dark-wear the brand is worshipped for.

Charaf Tajer of Casablanca, out of Paris, has doubled down on classic tennis vibes of the upper class. Tajer has influences of places like Miami and the Hamptons in the seams of his luxury streetwear brand, not to mention the allure of french coastlines.

Charaf Tajer, founder of Casablanca. @charaftajer.

Since 2018, Tajer has created a Versace-Esque aesthetic through mosaic design, disco-tailored garments, and relaxed, fitted clothing. Casablanca collections are overwhelmed with tones that glow throughout the day and that separates his brand from most others.

No need to fear the color palette like men once did. And no need to go back to 4XL tees, pink fur coat and custom matching pink Air Force 1s, like Cam’ron, made hot famously at New York Fashion Week in 2002.

The color has been made official by ‘Killa’ and Pantone since 2016, properly named “killa pink.”

Cam’ron during NYFW in 2002. Dazed Digital.

Ideally, embrace your feminine side when deciding your colors for the day. And don’t be shy as to the colors you like the most, just be confident. With all the drama happening in the world, it’s a courtesy to yourself, one worth brightening up your day.

Look out for this article on PAGE magazine.

Dipset Back: The Diplomats comeback is what the world needs right now

Once upon a time The Diplomats ran Harlem. Their influence has cultivated the swag, looks, and sound of some of your favorite rappers we all know and love today.

The Diplomats were true pioneers in the mixtape game and through their underground street DVDs they became stars.

Established in 97′ by Cam’ron and Jim Jones, and most known for their classic Diplomatic Immunity albums, the Set has always been infamous for their innovative and divisive style.

From Juelz Santana’s signature bandanas to Cam’ron’s antics along with his all pink clothes and Laffy Taffy range to Jim Jones aka Capo’s elegant production and smooth grown man swag on tracks to Freeky Z, J.R. Writer, and Hell Rell adding that extra umph, Diplomats are one of the most seminal rap groups of the early 2000s.

The Diplomats have never failed when it came to delivering some of the most absurd, yet hilarious lines.

The group never held their tongue off the wax, dissin’ everyone and their moms, including the most memorable moment delivered by Cam when he appeared on the Bill O’Reilly Show with Dame Dash. You can take The Diplomats out of Harlem…

Stay Mad GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Dipset has also introduced us to other prolific acts in music like Max B. For those who don’t know who Max B is, I suggest you do some research.

A few words won’t do him any justice. He was basically a trendsetter and pioneer of his own swag and sound what we know today as “The Wave”.

And Dipset has always been a true grassroots movement for the people of Harlem and beyond, becoming true icons of the community.

Flash forward to present day and the dynamic group has set aside their interpersonal troubles to once again return to the booth to bless us with a brand new track called “Once Upon a Time”, produced by Heatmakerz. The record is filled with heavy gospel soul samples, resembling the group’s sound back in their prime.

Cam and Jimmy are the only two members that appear on the song. Peep it below.

Jimmy’s swag on this track is business as usual. Jimmy executes his smooth confidence on his verse and explains how he arranged a $80,000 private jet flight from LAX to NYC to meet with Jay-Z to sign a million dollar deal in February with Roc Nation, which of course involved some of the most expensive wine and spirits.

“80 for the jet that meet with Jay and then I flew back (facts)
The Ace of Spade they put up on my tab, a extra two stacks
Signing my deal, they asked if I would sign for a mil’ (for what?)
I ask them why would I do that when I already signed for a mil (you hear me?)”

Meanwhile, Cam’ron puts his pen to work delivering a tight rhyme scheme while expressing his love for the Set, his ever-flourishing lifestyle, and reminiscing about the time when Dame Dash had to put hands on Harvey Weinstein on the set of Paid in Full.

“Long live the Set, glory glory hallelujah
Welcome back to the hallway loiterers
I made mills off the white girl, I exploited her
No disrespectin’ the ladies, word from my team (why)
That’s the reason Dame smacked Harvey Weinstein (pervert)
On the set of Paid In Full, y’all gave him hell about it
Some foul shit happened once, Capo, tell ’em about it”

It’s safe to say the Set is back. This track does give me somewhat of a Diplomatic Immunity feel and I’m hopeful for more Dipset tracks on the way.

Assuming with the release of Cam’ron’s new project The Program this all could be part of the roll out for a new Dipset album who knows? *does ye’ shrug*

As the months continue to fly by we’ll keep a keen eye on what is to come next for the illustrious rap group. You can listen to their new track “One Upon A Time” on iTunes or the streaming platform of choice. Shouts to Harlem.

Cam’ron claims Dame Dash slapped the shit out of Harvey Weinstein

Cam’ron, Juelz Santana, Jim Jones, and Freekey Zekey reunited yesterday as The Diplomats yesterday and dropped a new track “Once Upon a Time”.

This is exciting enough news for fans of the early 2000s Harlem rap group, but there were also some revealing lines about… Harvey Weinstein?

In “Once Upon a Time” Cam’ron raps at the end of his verse about a supposed altercation between Roc-A-Fella co-founder Dame Dash and Weinstein,

“No disrespecting the ladies, word from my team
That’s the reason Dame smacked Harvey Weinstein
On the set of Paid in Full, y’all gave him hell about it
Some foul shit happened once, Capo, tell ‘em about it”

This sheds some light on a rumor that’s been going around for awhile. Apparently the beef goes back to Paid in Full, the 2002 film that starred Cam’ron. Paid in Full was produced by Harvey’s brother Bob’s Division Films, but it was Harvey that delayed the release of the film for two years, as Dame told the New York Times in 2002.

In a 2005 interview with the Daily Intelligencer, Dame Dash said that many people in the entertainment business were scared of Weinstein, but Dame wasn’t falling for it, “Harvey’s a ‘guy that everyone was afraid of’ . . .  I was like, ‘He’s a bitch.'”

In an October interview with Hip-Hop Motivation, Dame said that he pressed Harvey Weinstein all over the globe to put out Paid in Full,

“I put pressure on him all around the world to put out Paid in Full correctly. I caught him in France, I caught him in Paris. You know, ’cause they weren’t expecting me to be those places. But they were trying to not put out Paid in Full.”

Dame also said that his treatment of Weinstein was just what the dude had coming,

“The bottom line is, like, when I look at somebody treat other people wrong, I can’t just look the other way. And any opportunity I get, I know I’m strong, but I’m always gonna make them suffer for the people that aren’t strong enough.”

If anyone has footage or proof of Dame Dash slapping the shit out of Harvey Weinstein, we need it.