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Essentials: A$AP Illz

According to Illijah Ulanga, 2005 marks the year that a group of friends came together and formed that most talked-about crew of 2012: A$AP Mob. Conceptualized by A$AP Yams, a quick-witted sage who remains the driving force behind A$AP, the squad began as a humble three-man crew that included Yams, A$AP Bari, and the aforementioned Ulanga, whom now prefers his pseudonym, A$AP Illz. As an OG A$AP member, Illz has seen all of its growth, from the addition of new members such as A$AP Ferg, A$AP Ant, A$AP Twelvvy and of course, A$AP Rocky, whom according to Illz was one of the latter additions to the Harlem-based tribe around 2007. Despite their recent successes, when you consider the original ages of its current members (15, 16 and 17 for most), it’s evident that A$AP wasn’t conceived as a master branding plan but was really just a simple identifying marking for a group of genuine teenaged friends.

So while to the rest of us A$AP is a somewhat new movement, to Illz it’s long been part of his life. Nearly eight years later, you’re likely to spot Illz frequenting the videos of A$AP’s rappers and as a general rule making appearances in many of the places they do. It’s fair to say that his most notable role to date as a member of A$AP has been his presence, acting as both physical and spiritual support for the burgeoning careers of many of the Mob’s members. But that isn’t to say he hasn’t had his own solo accomplishments. Those in Japan may recognize Illz from a newly launched Stussy ad campaign, while others may draw some vague facial recognition by way of his appearance in the Pyrex Vision lookbook video. In the future, Illz plans to launch his own collection of jewelry, a sample chain of which is included in the above photo. And it’s important to him that he establish his own personality and create his own following while donning the A$AP label. After all, it’s something that could conceivably both help and hinder his future development. Documenting his own successes is important to Illz, a trait reflected in the inclusion of a recent XXL magazine spread featuring himself and his A$AP Mob cohorts. As for other items included in his Essentials, there are the characteristic A$AP Mob Margiela sneakers, and other high-fashion items including a Louis Vuitton “Monogramouflage” duffle bag, Dior Homme jeans and Fendi wallet. A Stussy Varsity jacket also makes an appearance, although Illz is certain the item is not simply there because of his recent relationship with the brand. And while the iPhone could arguably be an essential for anyone living in today’s day and age, it serves a particularly important role in the life of an A$AP member, whose fame and success can almost entirely be traced back to the power of social media and the internet.

Take a look at the rest of A$AP Illz’s Essentials above.

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