Designer Katie Eary Talks Dressing 2 Chainz And The Connection Between Fashion And Hip Hop [Interview]

Katie Eary
Photo: Courtesy of Katie Eary

If we’ve learned anything from Fashion Weeks past, performance outfits, and the lyrics themselves, it’s that Kanye West, 2 Chainz, and A$AP Mob have their ears to the ground in the fashion scene. Seriously, these guys are CLUED IN, and now, we owe them a huge “thank you” for tipping us off to our newest style obsession, Katie Eary. This London-based designer may only be a few years out of school, but already, she’s beloved by rap stars and fashion kids alike. Shortly after graduating from the Royal College of Art, Eary has racked up an insane resume—creating custom pieces for Kate Moss (her first gig!), gaining critical acclaim for her womenswear and menswear lines, and winning a fan base that reads like MTV’s Hottest MCs VIII List. The hip hop world is fawning over Eary’s decadent designer-meets-streetwear creations, from her gilded skate decks to her graphic separates splashed with digital prints of octopus, goldfish, and screaming cheetahs (which are entirely as awesome as they sound). Want proof of Katie’s closerthanclose connection to music? Just this week, 2 Chainz rocked one of her Spring/Summer looks in his new “Crack” music video, she dropped a new fashion film soundtracked by none other than the A$AP Mob, and that’s only the beginning. Get the lowdown from the designer herself below!

A still from 2Chainz’s “Crack” video
Photo: Def Jam Recordings

You and your clothing appeared in the European version of 2 Chainz’s video for G.O.O.D. Morning, and he just wore your clothes in his new video for “Crack.” How did you guys originally link up?

KATIE EARY: I’ve worked with Kanye for over a year, and in that time I slowly but surely met most of the G.O.O.D music lot… Kanye’s stylist Rene called me and said,”2 Chainz is in town! Can you get over there today? He wants some clothes.” That was the beginning, I guess. He’s such a nice guy! Love him.

Streetwear seems to have a large influence on your designs… what about it inspires you in particular?

Actually my muses consist of Kanye, Don C, Virgil [Abloh], Ibn [Jasper]. When I first met them all my head was abuzz with awe; I had never seen such eclectic streetwear. They were all wearing vintage Versace, like full looks, with incredible spizikes, one-off LV graffiti belts, amazing jewelry, I’d never seen anything like it! So it’s always in the forefront of my mind when I get going with each new season.

What exactly about the hip hop world interests you most? How does it affect your collections?

Each star treats themselves like a brand and everything is thought out and planned. It really made me think about my own brand, having integrity and being true to myself. They make me feel like anything is possible. Especially as fashion, art and performance collide with the likes of Kanye; he has created such an amazing brand! Its a constant source of inspiration.

A still from Katie Eary’s Ready to Wear concept film.
Photo: Courtesy of Katie Eary

Why did you score your new fashion film with music from A$AP Mob in particular?

I knew that Virgil was friends with A$AP Mob, so I fired an email over to him to check if it would be OK to use it—you can’t just use any old track, permission is key. I wanted something a bit “new.” I’m sure that track has been out for a while, but over here it’s all about A$AP Rocky, so I wanted to use A$AP Mob. Originally I wanted to use “Persian Wine,” as it’s got a kind of creepy feeling that would have fit with the Vampish theme. We went for “Full Metal Jacket” in the end as it had so many changes in beats, and chorus to play with when cutting the film together. It worked perfectly!

What are your thoughts on the relationship between hip hop and fashion, whether it’s streetwear or whether it’s rappers like A$AP Rocky and Kanye being very vocal about their love for particular designers?

I think it’s helping to broaden peoples minds. They see these highly influential people wearing something really eccentric and instead of ridicule, it praises individuality and I think that’s so important to fashion.

Finally, which artists are on your studio music playlist?

At the moment I am loving Tamaryn, and then for dancing and drinking, I looove Good Kid M.A.A.D City!


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