Browse all

The TikTok rapper that became the star of the last fashion week

«Mucho gusto»

The TikTok rapper that became the star of the last fashion week «Mucho gusto»
@zeitfang
@808_factory
Prada FW22
Louis Vuitton FW22
Loewe FW22
Jil Sander FW22
Hermes FW22
Fendi FW22
Dior FW22
@808_factory
@maximachtfoeteli
@zeitfang
@viko63
@viko63
@viko63
@viko63
@studio_stetten
@sammybermudez_
@maximachtfoeteli

The fashion month that opened in January 2022 with Milan Fashion Week and ended yesterday with Kenzo's FW22 show had an unexpected breakout star in a German model named Viktor Khrom who was spotted in all the flagship shows of the season: Fendi, Prada, Jil Sander, Louis Vuitton,  Dior, Hermès. His presence was particularly interesting because Khrom, although at his debut as a model, had already made his appearance in pop culture under the name of Viko63 of native Germany with a live session that on TikTok obtained 1.5 million views in two weeks in September and that today has 3.4 million. The song is a mix of techno and rap named Mucho Gusto, which Khrom sings wearing a red Lacoste sweater, oversized jeans and a glass of wine in his hands, accompanied by the inevitable cigarette. Twitter user @Ahman_patron described the singer by writing: «That's exactly how I imagine the Berlin students of Kreuzberg or Friedrichsain»  while @fanex030 commented TikTok: «This is how hipsters who drink wine at the park look like». While the audience debated whether it was cringe or new talent, the live session became a fairly popular meme in Germany, a Halloween disguise, a challenge was launched on TikTok to imitate him and Khrom landed on Spotify with almost 700,000 monthly listeners and 10 million listens for his most popular tracks.

Louis Vuitton FW22
Prada FW22
Fendi FW22
Dior FW22
Loewe FW22
Jil Sander FW22
Hermes FW22

The amount of online comments that have used the word "hipster" to refer to Khrom is impressive: and not so much because the model and singer looks like one of those hipsters who were actually seen in the early 2000s (tight jeans, suspenders, beard and so on) but because Mucho Gusto's live session as well as the few photos that appear on his Instagram and his music videos follow that indie sleaze aesthetic he is doing her slow but progressive return to the psychosphere of fashion: think of Skins' debauched parties and Effy Stonem's outfits, think of Kesha waking up in a tub and Lady Gaga's Just Dance, the stormy days of the relationship between Pete Doherty and Kate Moss, Spring Breakers and the photos with watermarks published by your local discos at the turn first decade of the 2000s. The lit cigarette, the glass of half-empty wine in your hands, the vintage sweater, but also the underground setting and the music are a kind of involuntary summary of that aesthetic that, after the lockdown, has seen cultural consumers around the world eagerly seek a reality not adulterated by social media marketing,  not built by algorithms and trend forecasters nor reproduced in 4K resolution on the latest iPhone model. 

@aboveground.sessions ABOVEGROUND 4 SESSION #02 - VIKO63 & PENGLORD #aboveground #session #deutschrap #viko #deutschrapnewcomer #fy #fypシ #hiphop #rap #untergrund Originalton - aboveground.sessions

The appearance of Viko63 during this last fashion season also represents an ability of how the habitat of TikTok has the ability to accelerate the birth of new characters of contemporary celebrity culture, creating a triangulation between underground music, social media, memes and fashion that leads to the birth of multidisciplinary celebrities, not linked to a precise field such as entertainment,  cinema or even just modeling but dependent on everyone and nobody. It's not entirely clear, for example, whether Khrom was cast as a model before becoming a viral hit in Germany in late September or whether his regular presence on all the high-profile shows of the season is a derivative of that viral fame – fame that, moreover, becomes less and less pop / universal and more and more compartmentalized, with the idols of a certain community that are semi-invisible to those of another. Nevertheless, the cross-sectoriality of a public figure like a rapper who became famous on TikTok is extremely attractive for brands because it is much more versatile. Scrolling through the Instagram posts where Khrom is tagged you see numerous links-ups to photographers, artists, impresarios, podcasters, independent fashion brands such as Studio Stetten - a whole demimonde made up of creatives of the new generation.

@maximachtfoeteli
@maximachtfoeteli
@808_factory
@808_factory
@sammybermudez_
@viko63
@studio_stetten
@viko63
@viko63
@viko63
@zeitfang
@zeitfang

The beginning of Khrom's parable, by the way, vaguely resembles that of Evan Mock who became a viral sensation after Tom Sachs filmed him during a skate session at the age of 18, sending the video to Frank Ocean who further propagated his fame by finally landing him on the Louis Vuitton catwalk. Just as Mock's celebrity status suddenly seemed to appear on the horizon after his catwalk debut, Khrom also had, in terms of modeling, a very intense season that came after the announcement of a national tour in Germany next April. Meanwhile, before the actual fame, there is the next best thing: virality – obtained for something else, just as it was for Mock, through the repost of another celebrity, in this case the rapper with 2.6 million followers Bonez MC. The opinion around him is divided: in yet another tweet commenting on his success a user shows the screen of two opposite comments on Youtube, one that marks the live session as «absolute scheiße» (we don't need to translate that) and another one defines it «ein Masterwerk». The point is precisely this: the song is catchy, a no brainer to listen to unpretentiously – but what went viral was not the song, but the singer and his character.