VMAN Exclusive: The Story Behind the Suit

VMAN Exclusive: The Story Behind the Suit

On the eve of Rihanna's annual Clara Lionel Foundation Diamond Ball, Offset and Dapper Dan give us an inside look at how the rapper's custom ensemble came to be.

On the eve of Rihanna's annual Clara Lionel Foundation Diamond Ball, Offset and Dapper Dan give us an inside look at how the rapper's custom ensemble came to be.

Photography: Gabriela Celeste

Styling: Charles Reynolds (VLIT GANG)

Text: Abraham Martinez

Gabriela Celeste

Ever since he can remember, Offset has always been hands-on when it comes to fashion. Growing up, the Migos rapper was always adding a necessary final touch to his many fits—an exercise that would help develop a sharp sartorial instinct that would eventually grant him the accolade of Best Dressed in high school. “I wore a Polo V-neck underneath a green Polo sweater,” he tells me. “[Bootcut] True Religion’s and some Gucci shoes.”

But his days of dressing up in hot early-2000s labels are long gone. His style has undergone a remarkable evolution, which coincided with his rise as one of the most prolific cultural figures of our time—achieving success not only in music but in the fashion world as well, becoming a front-row fixture at shows like Marc Jacobs, Valentino, and Louis Vuitton and championing young designers he discovered on Instagram like Imran Potato. Let it be known to all: Offset loves fashion and fashion loves Offset.

“I've always been a visual person,“ he explained to me in the dining room of his hotel suite. I always took care of my shit, who I was, and how I dressed. My mom would pick out shit and I [would] switch it up, always.”

Gabriela Celeste
Gabriela Celeste
Gabriela Celeste
Gabriela Celeste

That he did (and still does) only on a much larger scale. Everything he touches is given the Offset spin down to the socks, but his personalization game goes especially hard with his jewelry. "I always [have] my little thoughts on everything. You gotta be you. Can't nobody choose your outfits."

He then motions his arms towards me and I am instantly blinded. The man loves his bling. He designed nearly every piece of jewelry, with the exception of one. “My wife designed it,” he tells me of the massive rock that graces his wedding finger. It gave me a very Henry VIII vibe in the best possible way. Offset is royalty, therefore he dresses as such. Point blank period.

Gabriela Celeste
Gabriela Celeste
Gabriela Celeste

So when an invitation to Rihanna’s Clara Lionel Foundation Diamond Ball arrived, it was the perfect opportunity to once again grab the creative reigns, deciding to enlist the help of Harlem’s very own Dapper Dan and Gucci.

"When I first saw [Offset], he had that princely look!" exclaims Dapper Dan on meeting his collaborator for the first time. Unknowingly, I wasn’t the only one who recognized a regal quality in Offset. His collaborator did, too! The two swapped stories about each other's creative journeys, creating energy that resulted in a perfect synergy that any iconic artist-muse relationship in history would envy.

Gabriela Celeste
Gabriela Celeste
Gabriela Celeste

“Before you dress the body, you engage the mind,” Dan explains. “When you engage the mind you get that chemistry going on.” It was then decided the look would center on a theme of royalty (If you really think about it, Offset pretty much is; as is Dapper).

But before this dream could become a reality, there were many things required to bring this creation to life. For Offset, it was putting pencil to paper for a sketch. On Dapper’s end, it was sourcing the materials on top of placement. The result? A stunning, crystal general’s jacket and pant combo. Made from supple navy suede with accents of silver leather, it was a Cinderella moment for sure, or as Offset put it: “Really historical, very legendary, [and] upper-class classic.”

Gabriela Celeste
Gabriela Celeste
Gabriela Celeste

The word “collaboration” gets thrown around left and right so much it can be hard to figure out what actually fits the label. After meeting with both Offset and Dapper, I can surely say this was one of them. Unlike your typical designer-model relationship, the two coming together represents something far greater: an impact on the culture.

For Dapper Dan, the moment took on an added significance: "[Young artists] offer a different landscape, a reflection of the time, you know? For [Offset] to be where he is at the high point where he is, that's my landscape. I get another chance to paint a landscape of fashion."

In a matter of minutes, Offset is dressed and out the door. It was then I realized that Offset doesn’t just love fashion, he is fashion—and thank God for that.

Gabriela Celeste
Gabriela Celeste
Photography: Gabe Shaddow
Gabriela Celeste
Credits:
// CREATIVE DIRECTOR: Ros Okusanya (VLIT GANG) //
/ / ARTISTS: Offset & Dapper Dan //
// A VLIT Production // // INSTAGRAM:: @offsetyrn, @gibaela, @dapperdanharlem, @_abebaby, @charleyreystyles, @vlitgang, @castingdirectorros //

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