A$AP Rocky and Mercedes reunite for a new capsule collection

In their first collaboration since 2017, A$AP and the iconic carmaker introduce a line of gender-neutral fashion and merch inspired by '90s New York style.

As we eagerly await the arrival of Rihanna and A$AP Rocky’s firstborn, another big delivery has arrived. On Thursday, Mercedes-Benz announced its latest collaboration with the rapper and expectant father, a capsule collection of fashion and accessories inspired by the ’90s.

A$AP Rocky theGrio.com
A$AP Rocky attends Rihanna’s 5th Annual Diamond Ball at Cipriani Wall Street on September 12, 2019, in New York City.
(Steven Ferdman/Getty Images)

As reported by Women’s Wear Daily, the collection will feature logo-laden, gender-neutral “sweaters, hoodies, trousers, jackets, baseball caps and bags,” all of which combine the carmaker’s iconic image with a riff on A$AP’s “streetwear style.” Fans of both the rapper and the luxury vehicle brand will no doubt also be excited to learn all items retail for a tiny fraction of what a new Benz costs, ranging in price from $60 to $175.

As WWD further explains, “The collection takes a ’90s-inspired approach with pieces such as a white hoodie with a retro Mercedes-Benz logo, a bomber jacket designed with an image of a tire and an oversize orange jacket, among other styles.”

As A$AP told GQ, the collection not only represents the era of his childhood (the rapper was born in 1988) but the culture of his native Harlem, N.Y. during that same era, with a nod to another icon.

For the capsule collab, Rocky and his team wanted to play on the cultural significance of Mercedes-Benz iconography in hip-hop and in New York fashion. Indeed, logomania was born in Harlem in the ’80s by way of Dapper Dan, the legendary designer who spun his signature luxury-label “knockups” out of his atelier on 125th Street, in turn originating fashion’s monogram obsession as we know it. Not to mention that Rocky, born Rakim Mayers, and his older sister, Erika B. Mayers, were named after the New York DJ/MC duo Eric B. & Rakim, beloved not only for their music but also for their prime hip-hop-golden-age uniforms of logoed-out Dapper Dan duds and icey Mercedes star logo chains. Growing up, “we would go to 125th Street or downtown, and you would always find bootleg Mercedes-Benz logos and whatnot,” Rocky says. “It correlates to my life in so many ways.”

Credit: GQ

Bettina Fetzer, vice president of communications and marketing at Mercedes-Benz AG, agrees, telling WWD: “Mercedes-Benz has been exploring culture-led industries for decades…Our collaboration with A$AP Rocky perfectly captures the movement of the ’90s, tapping into the fashion and music culture of this decade, a defining era that has shaped creatives such as A$AP today. Through the capsule collection, we offer our customers a unique, new gateway into the Mercedes-Benz world.”

While the collection is new, the relationship between A$AP and Mercedes-Benz is not. As GQ reminds us, the two entities first partnered in 2017 when the former became the face of Mercedes-Benz’s “Grow-Up” campaign. Five years later, that connection has also grown, as has A$AP’s profile as a creative influencer. In addition to his enigmatic creative agency AWGE, which is a co-producer on the project, in 2021, the rapper also became the first guest artistic director of California-based lifestyle brand PacSun. Both are hosting the new A$AP Rocky x Mercedes Benz collection, available now.

Maiysha Kai is Lifestyle Editor of theGrio, covering all things Black and beautiful. Her work is informed by two decades’ experience in fashion and entertainment, a love of great books and aesthetics, and the indomitable brilliance of Black culture. She is also a Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter and editor of the YA anthology Body (Words of Change series).

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