Paris and London play home to some of the most inspirational and stylish creatives in the world. Today’s creatives are not shy about expressing themselves through fashion and pushing the boundaries with silhouette, texture and pops of color. Polo Ralph Lauren caught up with London’s resident man about town Poet and his creative collective, Vibbar Crew as well as Parisian rapper, ISHA to discuss who their chosen families are and how they push one another to create.
Rapper and presenter, London
Who are your chosen family? How did you meet?
My chosen family is a group of creatives who, after years of friendship, decided to work together to create various different interpretations of art. Whether that be music, music videos, photography, we were all mutual friends or knew each other because we went to the same social events, as the scene we are part of years ago was quite small. Everyone kind of knew everyone anyway by default, which has now grown to the scene we see today.
Where is a place in London that is of importance to your chosen family?
A place in London that is significant to us is quite hard for me to say. I haven’t asked them but if I had to say it would have to be between West or East London. Both areas have provided great memories for us. West London’s famous for [Notting Hill] Carnival, also that’s where Skits is from, the waviest man alive. East London gave us so many great moments, from music videos to the notorious ‘Visions’ bar where Pharrell Williams once came to in its hey day.
What about London defines you guys as family and collaborators?
The part of London we are from is what people refer to as the ‘hood’. In the era in which we were growing up it was a neglected part of the city, so some people used their circumstances to aid that creative part of their mind and rebel against social norms. So we [were] just naughty children in the class room.
How would you describe your friendship group’s personal style?
Our friendship… if I had to define it or give it a style, it’s just a group of people who won’t judge you for what you say, we judge you for what you do.
What kind of collaborators are you? What do you work on together?
We create all types of art but my favorite recent project is a football we made which was worn by Arsenal Right Back, Hector Bellerin. We made a book called untitled, which we plan to present at Art Basel.
What about London adds to the creative energy of your chosen family?
The fact we are examples of rebellious culture that filters out into our personalities. You attract the most authentic examples of that mental state. Then to a certain extent create your own crew of individuals which share similar dreams.
How would you all describe your personal style?
My personal style I guess, is a mix between what I saw my older cousins wear when I was younger and what I genuinely love.
Do you find music and style go hand in hand?
Yes. Music and style go hand in hand. The ability to make a song then see the creative direction that can go in visually is such a gift. I really admire Kanye, Skepta, A$AP, Pep… the list is endless for this ability.
What does Paris mean to you ?
For me, it’s a city of artists. There is a very inspiring side. I lived a few years in a nearby suburb, Sarcelles. I spent a lot of time walking on the boulevards, watching the city. And of course, it’s the capital of fashion. You can meet a grandmother and find yourself thinking “wow, her coat is incredible”. People have a lot of style here.
Who are the two people who are with you today and how did you meet ? How do you all work together ?
Stan is a long time friend, we did a lot of things together. We met at the age of 15 at school. We did a lot of bullshit together but now we are doing beautiful things. He is my manager and my backer. Hervé is my DJ. He is like a little brother, our families know each other very well. They are my soldiers, the concerts are war and every week we go to war.
How does Paris influence your personal style ?
In Paris we can dare, there is no limit. And it’s a laboratory. If it works in Paris it can work everywhere. Paris influences fashion, as Medine (a French rapper) [once] said.
Do you think rap and style are inseparable ?
Yes, for me one doesn’t go without the other. Rap is an exercise of style and clothing is a tool for expressing a state of mind.
What does Paris evoke in terms of creativity ?
I think the multiculturalism of Paris is the main reason for its creativity. Paris is a kind of proof that together we create beautiful things.
What do you like to wear day-to-day and what do you like to wear on stage?
I like wearing tracksuits. There is nothing [I can't do], tracksuits are too comfortable. At this moment, I’m writing a track called ‘Biznessman en Survet’ [Businessman in a Tracksuit]. I think the world is changing, we are breaking the codes. Shirts and suits are not for us – or not yet. I have some friends who wear the suit for work, we grew up together and I know this is not them, that’s what society wants them to be. For me it’s really a blessing to be able to be myself in clothing.
See how these creatives and their chosen families style their Ralph Lauren Outerwear, and check out the latest collection on the Ralph Lauren website.