Who said the music industry gets to have all the fun?
Earlier this week, XXL Magazine released their highly anticipated annual Freshman Class cover, where they profile the up and coming acts in hip-hop music and predict who the hottest MCs to watch in the coming years will be. Most times they’re right, in some rare instances they aren’t, but that’s how the game of probability goes.
While the hip-pop Internet space had a field day interpreting XXL’s famed list, we had a grand idea of our own: who are the Freshmen of the fashion game?
We rounded up some of the faces behind the brands we’re currently loving, and while they are far from amateurs in the game, some of the names on our lists have been on their Global Grind for quite some time and are either reaching notable pinnacles of fame, or have expanded their brand.
Success in the fashion game doesn’t come overnight. Check out our picks for the Fashion Freshman Class below.
Alexander Wang: Balenciaga
Wang? How can Wang be a part of the Fashion Freshman class when he has been designing since he was 18? While Alexander Wang may be a veteran to his namesake brand, he was the new kid at school when he took over as the creative director at Balenciaga. After wrapping his first fashion week at the helm of the brand this past fashion month, it is safe to say Wang is the most popular freshman in class, and definitely the one with the most popular friends.
Rob Garcia: En/Noir
Sadly, Kanye West was not the innovator of the leather sweatpants trend all on his own. It was Rob Garcia who is the man behind the brand en/noir that put the thread to the leather to make leather sweats possible. Rob Garcia came up with Mega as a designer for clothing brand Black Scale before branching off to create his own brand that reached an untapped location between high-fashion and streetwear – with a price tag to match.
Rhuigi Villasenor: Rhude
The first important thing to note is that Rhuigi is only 21 years old, making him the youngest of our Freshman Class. The tie-in to hip-hop is as close as it gets here, as the designer’s Bandana t-shirt is what garnered him the most fame when rappers like Tyga, Kendrick Lamar and even Justin Bieber’s swaggy self were seen sporting the eye-catching print tees. The line has yet to expand to other parts of the wardrobe, but Rhuigi is at the forefront of the youth revolt in men’s fashion, and he knows it.
Jerry Lorenzo: Fear of God
Aside from being a staple in the Los Angeles streetwear scene, Jerry Lorenzo has been creeping up on the runway scene with his menswear line. Fear of God was one of the first men’s streetwear brands to ignore the backlash and embrace the manly tunic paired with plaids and dance around the men-in-skirts idea successfully. Chris Brown, Kanye West and Big Sean have also been seen wearing designs from the brand.
Jordana Warmflash: Novis
Jordana sparked a business off of something that many of us deal with every day: “What do I wear?” The designer capitalized on the skills she honed while working at Zac Posen, Peter Som, and Alice + Olivia, and in 2012 her line hit the shelves at TenOverSix in L.A. and American Two Shot. Her dresses have a vintage vibe that we can’t get enough of. Jordana describes her line as “uptown elegance meets downtown quirkiness,” and we describe it as downright dope.
People’s Choice: Rihanna For River’s Island
RiRi may be known in the music realm, but her parlay into the fashion industry is one to be noted. Not only is she one of the most famous women walking the face of the earth, but Rihanna is also one of the most stylish. When it came to finally putting her ideas to the sketches, she delivered with the collaborative collection for River Island. Crop tops and high slits may not be for everyone, but one thing we can respect is Rihanna’s commitment to her style through her design.