Tyler, the Creator has been around for a few years now, first rising to fame when he released his mixtape debut, Bastard, in early 2011. His effort this year, Flower Boy was nominated for a Grammy.
As we watched Tyler progress, his famous personality has taken shifted from an angry, homophobic, hilariously outspoken artist to a less angry, possibly gay, still hilarious, and outspoken creative with many projects to his name.
He’s produced everything from music content to television shows, but perhaps the most surprising avenue that Tyler has taken has been his fashion-forward direction, branding himself as a designer.
Some 10 years ago, Tyler helped form and develop Odd Future and the collective Wolf Gang Kill Them All. Since their early days of formation, Tyler has led the rap collective’s exposure along with his own fame.
On the subject of fashion, Tyler shares his thoughts openly (and as vulgar as possible) with The New Yorker last year,
“The difference between me and these niggas is that I make what I like.”
Though still active in Odd Future, Tyler has stepped away from designing for the product line. However, Golf Wang has been his new fashion focus, releasing everything from hoodies to stickers.
In a 2015 Vogue interview, Tyler discusses the appeal of designing over rapping for him at the time:
“Ever since I was a kid my favorite class was art because there were no rules. There are no rules to anything, really. You can make whatever you want. That’s the freedom I get from making things. That’s why I like drawing it out, because my mind can go anywhere.”
He also seems to have developed a sense of pride in the trends he’s set, discussing them in his lyrics, as well as sharing the source of his inspirations.
From The FADER:
Oh you wearin’ Vans and Supreme this season? / Stop lyin’ to yourself, nigga, me the reason.
“The streetwear giant has been around since 1994, when Tyler was only 3 years old, but many rightly credit Tyler and his geeky west coast skate-kid look — long socks, vans, shorts, and brightly coloured T-shirts — with elevating the box logo to its current status.”
In 2011, Odd Future opened a pop-up store in Los Angeles that lasted a successful month. The store served as an opener and introduction for Golf Wang’s official look-book.
Since the announcement, Golf Wang has collaborated with brand like Vans, Zumiez, and Converse. Tyler’s creativity in clothing design is more a spur of the moment type process. Also taken from Vogue:
“I just make whatever clothes I want to wear for the next five months and then run that. I don’t really put deep, intricate thought into it — it’s more like a feeling.”
And what he tells Vogue proves to be true, as Tyler’s creations cater to both a male and female audience.
“I’ve always wanted to make girls’ stuff. Sometimes girl clothes are cooler than guy clothes; they use cooler colors and patterns. It’s stupid we live in this society in which guys aren’t able to wear the cool colors and patterns—we’re just supposed to wear black. The purse—I just always wanted to make a purse.”
And, just as he does with his music, Tyler uses his fashion as a platform to stir up controversial, but important, creations, like a Neo-Nazi symbol with the LGBT flag colors lining the graphic.
Of course, the meaning behind the design was deeper than the surface picture. Regarding the logo, he wrote:
“What if a black guy wore this logo on a shirt? Would he be promoting self hate? Would he be taking the power out of a shape? What if a gay guy wore this on a shirt? Would he promoting Homophobia?… The thing that tops it off is the homo erotic tone of the hand holding, which to some degree HAS to piss off the guys who takes this logo serious.”
But controversy isn’t enough to stop Golf Wang from continuously expanding. Golf Wang has been featured on many fashion runways, shows, and brand collaborations.
The vibrant, playful, but disruptive themes of the product line have maintained its creative output and Tyler’s persona in so many ways.
What else does Tyler have in store for us? We love seeing his genius expand across so many markets — can’t wait to catch next season’s pieces!