Jay-Z and Kanye West performing together. All other ’Otis’ music video stills have been removed.
Man, I would be drunk with POWER if I were either Jay-Z or Kanye West, aka The Throne. Never mind that in Jay’s case you’ve got the baddest bitch in the game wearing your chain, and that in Kanye’s case you’re neck vein-deep in gorgeous models and socialites, you’ve also got unfettered access to all the BAMILLIONKERBILLION dollars that you’ve stockpiled as respective commerce magicians. But all that means to us is the math of SO. MUCH. AWESOME. FASHION.
Plus, when you’re a legend, all your swag is customized. As in, limited-edition. As in a run so short that the ratios are ONE of ONE. To celebrate the world premiere of the Spike Jonze-directed “Otis” video, the first visual from the face-melting/brain-bleeding/hair-curling collaborative opus, Watch The Throne, we dismantled and dissected the style of each artist. Plus, we talked to their stylists, June Ambrose who’s been working with Jay since “Can’t Knock The Hustle” as well as Kanye’s sartorial sherpa Renelou Padora, for the wardrobe credits. Plus, a little Easter Egg for the fash nerds, Jigga’s snakeskin NY Yankees hat is made exclusively for him by Kanye’s right-hand man Don.C.
AN AMERICAN CLASSIC
Of the aesthetic, June Ambrose had this to say: “The look was all-American. Americana.The jeans were stone-washed, we had a number of options but he went with Rocawear denim. And then we had a white tee with a Balmain patch and called it a day. It was a very simple aesthetic.”
Due to the layered sound of the single that’s rife with references—from the Otis Redding sample, to the mere presence of both these titans and the orchestration—the video was intended to be clean, and thus the styling was somewhat spare. “There’s so much storytelling in the record itself that we wanted the aesthetic to be simple,” says Ambrose. “There might have been expectations that the video would be stylized, and Kanye is eccentric. They both kept it less is more.” Kanye here is wearing Balmain Jeans, a Thom Browne customized shirt and layered Alexander Wang tees. High fashion for sure, but all natural cotton.
A RUSH OF RED
Kanye being Kanye, of course, saw the need for a jolt of red to add to the America, f*** yeah. The saturated denim is also Balmain. Note the zipper detailing and the AWESOME curved front zipper and trouser waistband. Love.
PYRO. AS ONE DOES.
Speaking of fire, we need to mention the python Yankees snapback that Jay is wearing. Scorching heat.
IS THAT A MAY-WHAT? BABY, THESE WHEELS.
Oh this? It’s just a Maybach that again has been customized (with a chain saw and a blowtorch, NBD) laden with beautiful women, Cartier bracelets, and enough serious horology to buy a YACHT. Check out Kanye’s complications in his Big Face. Swoon. Plus, have you ever SEEN Jay have more fun in a video?