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Brief history of the creative partnership between Kendrick Lamar and Martine Rose

Our new favorite couple in the fashion world

Brief history of the creative partnership between Kendrick Lamar and Martine Rose  Our new favorite couple in the fashion world

When the video for The Hillbillies, the new collaborative track by Baby Keem and Kendrick Lamar, landed online a few days ago, much of the general attention fell on the outfit sported by K-Dot. Certainly not a coincidence, but yet another piece in the mosaic that is the creative union born between the Compton rapper and British designer Martine Rose, who has long since been elected by Kendrick as his muse in a love affair born last November, after the announcement of the creative partnership between the two during the Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers tour. Inspired by Eazy-E, Tupac, and the Compton Cowboys, part of the capsule created by Rose was a black leather jacket embellished with the words "Oklama," Kendrick's latest nickname, embroidered on the shoulders, a pair of leather shorts with metal buckles on the sides, and a black hoodie with the designer's classic scripted logo. "Bucketlist to work with Martine Rose, she room shy but gangsta, say hello to my young," the rapper had written in the Instagram post - later removed - with which he introduced the collaboration between the two, which continued well beyond the album tour and arrived, last February, even on the Grammy stage, where Kendrick Lamar went up to collect the Best Rap Album award in a full Martine Rose signature outfit, complete with Nike Shox MR4 in a new color scheme that mixed sportswear and formal with a track jacket replacing the more classic jacket in the suit with shirt and tie.

A partnership that has continued, indeed, until the latest video released by K-Dot, where the rapper wears the trucker cap part of Rose's latest collection on which the name of Barnsley, a former mining town in the north of England with just under 100,000 inhabitants, appears. The same hat had been worn a few months earlier by Kanye West, who was one of Martine Rose's earliest supporters when he shared a photo of one of the designer's hoodies in unsuspected times, calling it "her favorite sweatshirt." The result? Hoodies sold out in no time, as did the trucker hat you can find today on Grailed for $650 when you're lucky. Rose's name is hardly new in the fashion world. Trained in Demna's shadow at Balenciaga, the British designer was a guest at the last Pitti in Florence as well as a longtime collaborator with Nike and, most recently, Clark's, which chose her as the brand's first guest creative director. Then again, it was only a matter of time before the rap world took notice of her-who in 2021 and included Drake in his voyeuristic campaign in the midst of a pandemic-and the fact that Kendrick Lamar did just that is no accident.

In recent times, the Compton rapper has been getting closer and closer to the fashion world, first by performing during the Louis Vuitton show at Paris Fashion Week last June, and then by taking part in the Met Gala celebration organized by Chanel with an outfit that mixed a Bottega Veneta jacket with an MLB snapback hat with Chanel's interlocking C logo. Credit to stylist Taylor McNeill, who allowed Kendrick to take the step he was missing, enshrining him in the Olympus of high fashion by putting him on the cover of W Magazine in Balenciaga Couture or dressing him in Louis Vuitton custom for his Super Bowl performance. Therefore, the renewed creative synergy with the British designer is wonderful news for both parties involved, as well as for our eyes and social feeds ready to welcome K Dot's next outfit and Martine Rose's next collection.