Asia’s music scene has been burgeoning with many a different artist in recent memory, one of which is Putri Estiani — better known by her stage name RAMENGVRL — whom has swiftly made a name for herself in the hip hop scene overseas. She’s amassed quite the substantial fan base in her five year career as an artist thus far, and has been heralded for her impressive bars, captivating lyrics and streetwear-focused style.
RAMENGVRL is aware that she’s in a male-dominated industry, but she’s been able to stand out amongst her peers for producing genre-bending tracks, unapologetically showing off her quirky personality and using her platform to express her thoughts on topics like the importance of Asian representation and womanhood. After dropping a duo of full-length projects — no bethany and Can’t Speak English — the South East Asian talent has already obtained a few notable accolades such as the Anugerah Musik Indonesia award in 2019 for Hip Hop Song of the Year and honoree for Forbes 30 Under 30 Indonesia.
Aside from her flourishing music career, she’s also become heavily associated with her unique fashion sense as it draws influences from streetwear culture and hip hop sensibility. She’s unafraid to be flamboyant with her wardrobe choices, but she’s still extremely conscientious on what pieces are designed to convey the biggest statements. As HYPEBEAST‘s latest guest on Sole Mates, RAMENGVRL speaks on how she developed her own fashion taste, her love for the
HYPEBEAST: Can you tell us about how you initially got into sneakers, fashion, and personal styling?
R: It must have started around the time I was in middle school. For some reason, I loved to buy fashion magazines from a young age such as Harper’s Bazaar and Elle. I think it was because I was attracted to their stunning editorial spread, I was like, “What is this world?!” I really read through the editor’s explanations about certain collections and it got to a point where I wanted to be a fashion editor myself.
You were born and raised in Jakarta. How would you describe sneaker culture and fashion there, or in your neighborhood? How does the city influence your style?
I think people are now more confident in expressing themselves through their own style, and I’m not surprised at it. Now there’s TikTok, Instagram, and all the other niche media outlets that give you the “these guys don’t care what other people say about their outfits, and they look good in those clothes” look so you also get motivated to do that — which is dope. I wouldn’t say the city really affects the way I dress. When I was in college I was known as a girl who wore knitted sweaters and velvet pants under the hot weather with a temperature of 30 degrees celsius. I used to think that all editorial outfits could be worn anytime. Now, I prioritize function and comfort, so you’ll never see me wearing a puffy jacket on the street.
In terms of fashion, you’re certainly a musician who possesses original style. What was the process for you to develop into your current character?
Why, thanks! First of all, our style is always changing. However, I realized that my personal development, or for example the course of my life, really affects what I like or what I want to wear. In the past, I just wanted to wear black, or gray and I always wore a leather jacket (cheap ones, I didn’t have the money yet). Now, I don’t mind wearing colored clothes, and I like pieces that make a statement or two. I’m not ashamed to go loud anymore, as long as I feel comfortable. I think it’s because I’m more comfortable with my body and myself right now.
What — or who — shaped your fashion sense and sneaker taste into what it is today?
When I say Rihanna I’m kidding but not really kidding. There are many things, but you could say anime and games have helped me experiment with the many outfits I wear. It would be a lie if I didn’t mention music, especially hip-hop, has been a big factor.
What are your favorite sneakers right now?
My favorite sneakers right now are AMBUSH x Nike Dunk High, Skepta x Nike Air Max Tailwind Vs and the Nike Shox R4 TL “Clay Orange”. If I have to wear black, I’ll choose my trusty and bulky Martine Rose x Nike Air Monarch IV.
What is it about these sneakers that make them your favorite?
I think because I can use them all everyday. Not super interesting I know, but that’s the truth. Besides that, these sneakers make a statement, but are low key, so it’s not too much. For example, the Nike Shox R4 TL “Clay Orange”, how many people would want to wear shoes that look like soccer shoes in orange? The AMBUSH x Nike shoes are just black and white, but there’s something about those sneakers that makes you want to see them all the time, it’s great design.
How has sneaker culture — or fashion in general — influenced your music?
Fashion and music are both ways of expressing myself, it can’t just be one. The two complement each other. Wardrobe, for example, is one of the main priorities that I pay attention to when making music videos or performing on-stage because without the right visuals, without the right look, the message of my songs may not be fully conveyed.
Seeing the current conditions, the majority of actors in the world of sneaker collecting or sneakerhead culture are men. As a woman, what do you think about there being more male actors in sneaker culture than women?
It’s okay, really. There are always things that are male-dominated or female-dominated, at first. I don’t call myself a sneakerhead, but I can totally relate. I mean, just like rap, right? It’s fine, but get ready when the girls take over.
Do you have any sneakers out there on your wishlist?
How do you choose which shoes to wear for your shows?
For me, the shoes have to match my clothes, as well as be a “finisher” for my overall look. There are often times when it’s the shoes that make the statement. I always try not to use more than one statement item at a time, for example, if the spotlight is a jacket, don’t wear knox orange, you’ll confuse people. But, if the wardrobe is all black, then the shoes can be the highlight. It sounds like a hassle, but I think it’s now become a kind of second nature to me.
This issue of Sole Mates was originally posted on HYPEBEAST ID and has been adapted accordingly.