Jay Z Wears Dinner Jackets, Discusses (Still) Growing Fashion Empire In ‘Vanity Fair’

Jay Z for ’Vanity Fair.’
Photo: Mario Testino/’Vanity Fair’

For the November issue of Vanity Fair, Jay Z be on his suit and tie s***, tie s***, tie. The man loves him a good dinner jacket and gets all pressed up in black and white on his first cover for the mag. The feature gives readers a rare glimpse into the life of a modern day mogul, who currently has a hand in pretty much everything. (But seriously.) Aside from his involvement with music, movies, video games, a theater, a nightclub and a sports team (*wipes sweat off brow*), Jay’s fallen hard for fashion. But, contrary to what one might assume, it’s not all about the Benjamins anymore—it’s about making improvements in the industry, he says.

“I’m not motivated by [money],” Jay tells VF. “I’m motivated by things I’m interested in. I like watches, so at some point [I’m] going to try and make a better watch. I was in the clothing business—I tried to make better clothes. Whether I succeed or not, that’s for people to judge. But I create things.” Oh, and about that timepiece—turns out some point = now. Before the end of the year, he’ll roll out the “Shawn Carter,” a watch he designed for Hublot, which will cost a cool $20,000. (Just because it’s not ~about~ the money doesn’t mean he won’t sell luxury, people.) This fall, he’ll debut a fragrance (Gold), a cigar (Comador) and then there’s that little Christmas collaboration collection with Barneys, for the dad who has everything other than a Balenciaga leather backpack. *cue I’m not a businessman; I’m a business, man*

Jay Z for ’Vanity Fair.’
Photo: Mario Testino/’Vanity Fair’

Inside the spread, Jay (who was snapped for the mag by famed celebrity photographer, Mario Testino), casually lounges on a jewel-colored velvet couch in a long, plaid sport coat and a set of Cuban links with the type of thickness typically reserved for securing bikes. Rappers flaunting material possessions (like, say, ginormous gold chains), is basically them making up for lost time, he explains—the times, growing up, when they “didn’t want to have dirty sneakers or wear the same clothes,” just like any other kid who wasn’t blessed with wealth. But now, wearing big bling and thick chains, “it’s really ironic to me and I like the way it looks. It’s just really cool to me,” he says. And when it comes to personal style, that’s reason enough.

To peep more pics and read the full interview with Shawn Carter himself (in which he also talks about wooing Beyonce and her bb highness, Blue Ivy), head on over here.

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