What a Time to Be in Style
By Tyler Uslaner
In what’s been a banner year for surprise releases and eternal waiting for Kanye to go in any damn other direction with SWISH than “Fourfiveseconds” and “Only One”, the hip-hop MVPs of 2015 combined forces to release a monster joint mixtape just a few weeks ago. It’s hard to argue against the fact that Drake and Future each had the most dominant year in their respective careers during 2015. Take Drake’s 14 simultaneous billboard charting singles or Future’s….. having exactly zero haters factor. Drake started the year off icy with a retail mixtape that went down as the definitive soundtrack of winter ‘15. Somehow, that impromptu loosie collection went platinum in just six months without any huge singles. Not only that, he signed a twenty million dollar deal with Apple and still has his forthcoming album, Views from the Six, due out soon. Future reinvented himself just a year after a musically great, but commercially weak flop in Honest. In the year’s first half, he shook off the curse of Ciara and dropped three critically acclaimed mixtapes. Afterwards, Future dominated the summer with Dirty Sprite 2 which tripled first week sales of his previous album. Essentially, What a Time to Be Alive serves as the victory lap in front of Drake and Future’s runaway year. Still, the pair didn’t only concentrate on music 2015, as each put their personal style firmly on lock. While no one is putting Drake or Future in the same stratospheric style lane as Kanye or Pharell’s, each went a long way in establishing their own unique look.
Drake’s dress code has followed a similar progression in style as his music. Who doesn’t remember the earlier days when the boy couldn’t do anything without being labelled as soft? That period seems like ages ago now that Drake has trained his flow up to the bruising weight of a defensive back. While a lot of his new stuff stays romantically in touch, (see “Hotline Bling” or “How About Now”), a new vindictive, braggadocious tone has all but overpowered his soft image. Until last year though, the amount of failed outfits Drake was seen wearing was hard to count. From the days of sweater vests, to the Dada outfit that inspired endless memes, few, if any, mentioned Drake’s style in a positive light. Fast forward to 2015. Aside from crazy custom power ranger inspired outfits he’s worn in concert, Drake keeps things classic and effective. Generally he can be found in varsity jackets, hoodies, skinny jeans, and Timberland or Jordans.
Perhaps the biggest factor in his style renaissance is the development of his brand OVO (Octobers Very Own). Ran by Drake and his creative director Oliver El-Khatib, OVO has become a force in streetwear. On the strength of their paired-down designs which often bear little more imagery than the classic owl stamp, OVO has set up shop in Toronto and opened pop-up locations on tour. Perhaps the most impressive feat OVO has accomplished is inking a deal with Jordan brand. Drake was not lying when he said, “Michael Jordan just said text me” on “Jumpman”, as he is the first non-athlete to have an endorsement deal from the brand. Thus far, they’ve collaborated on a pair of creamy Jordan 10’s and Jordan 8’s and also have a clothing capsule to be released later this fall.
While Drake’ style is very compatible for a college student, one will probably stand out on campus dressing like Future. This year, he wasn’t seen without a cowboy-fedora hybrid hat to top off his outfit. While this might be an aggressive move for most to attempt, when your persona is “Future Hendrix”, you have a pass for that kind of gratuitous peacocking. Future recently announced via Instagram that he would be coming out with his own line of these hats, so be on the lookout for them if you dare. For the rest of his outfit, Future usually opts for boutique and streetwear offerings, at least according to “Jump out the Face”, where he, “hop in Margiela then hop in some Bape.”
With an abundance of quality music from both artists, it is easy to overlook Drake and Future’s style. With OVO thriving and a potential hat line from Future, 2016 looks to be another year of sartorial domination from these two artists. As stated previously, both of these stars have a ways to go until they become style icons, but if their music is any indication, then I would not count either out.