Always $trive and Prosper – That’s the A$AP Mob Declaration
The A$AP Mob are more than a hip-hop group, they are a trend setting group of friends changing the game one brand at a time.
Music, fashion, art and personas, that's what the modern day hip hop group represents, but over time ASAP Mob have reformed their way of business. It started out in Harlem, New York 2006 as a small time group of close friends and family got together. What they were about to do would change the game forever.
From creating music that no one had heard, ASAP Mob have always been at the forefront of their vision, collaborating with alternative producers and featuring references to Gucci, Raf Simmons, Rick Owens, Alexander Wang and 'Louie V'.
Those fashion icons would recognise that ASAP Mob's demographic would start to buy into their brand due to the ASAP influence - so what better way to reach out and work with people who are adopting a different style on your brand? Better yet, from ASAP Mob’s angle - create your own brand to direct others on a high level of creative direction to inspire and influence.
In the past, only a high-end sophisticated demographic were spotted at fashion shows, but now you should be accustomed to the ASAP Mob sitting front and centre at these shows, stealing the headlines with their own unique sense of fashion. That in itself is branding.
What stands out to us is the way they have not only branded themselves individually as artists, but also as a brand together. We know that ASAP Rocky and Ferg are often singled out as the sole focus of the group’s ever growing success, but what's more interesting is the collaborations and creative strategies generated as a group to become more inclusive towards their fans. This is highlighted by how they have achieved the best output from their sub brands and collabs, which include;
Gue$$ Jeans x ASAP Mob
We were all aware of how poorly Guess Jeans were running as a business, they had no sense of creative direction and no idea of where they were headed. This combined with a lack of culture surrounding the brand sparked the idea to collaborate with ASAP Mob. The 90’s influence was the direction that the collaboration was based around, and is evident in the clothing collection with acid wash denim, overalls and pastel coloured stripe tee’s featuring the ‘ss’ in Guess replaced with dollar signs (Gue$$).
“Do we just sell clothes in select stores or do we set up a pop up store ourselves?” Yes, in traditional ASAP Mob fashion they went the extra inch come release day - Setting up a pop up store located in Bowery, New York with a retro fit out including wood-paneled walls, old school nintendo’s hooked up to analog TVs, and arcade games sitting next to a stack of CDs and a boom box. This is a reflection of their lifestyles growing up throughout that era, telling a story through a brand rather than just focusing on sales. Backing up their first successful campaign with Guess - the two are joining forces once again with a second summer collection expected to hit stores sometime during 2018.
Mercedes-Benz x ASAP Rocky
When you think Mercedes-Benz you think high end cars that only the wealthy can afford, so how do you combat this and get the millennial generation on board? You tell them to Grow Up, which is exactly the motto Mercedes used throughout this campaign with ASAP Rocky. A five part series revolving around life's experiences when entering adulthood and the many remarks you hear along the way such as “get a job, get married, spend more time with your family and dress proper”. They chose ASAP Rocky to appeal to the younger demographic and display how Mercedes can accompany them throughout their whole life. Another creative collaboration utilising a younger generations influence through ASAP Rocky.
The Skate culture and lifestyle has always played a massive role throughout the group's success, but competing with brand giants such as Palace and Supreme was always in the back of their mind when creating Mariano Infantry. Lead by ASAP Ant aka YG ADDIE, this has been operating since 2011 but creatively generating more since 2016 with influences from ICECREAM, Stussy and Nike SB. Aftering starting out shaky, it’s now growing from strength to strength and developing their own line of clothing, skate team and potential Nike collaborations to expand into a bigger skate demographic.
ASAP Ant wants Mariano Infantry stocked at different retailers including Barneys New York for that luxury market, along with local small-time skate shops that pay homage to the street skate culture he grew up on. Mariano Infantry has been seen worn by big time music producer Metro Boomin, NY Giants star Odell Beckham Jr and AWGE’s own Playboi carti. All of whom have their own individual following in their own right - a prime example of expanding a larger brand awareness into separate markets
Originally founded by the late ASAP Yams and now operating by members ASAP Lou and J. Snacks (ASAP Snacks), Cozy Boys are a music branded duo that have thrown parties throughout the Los Angeles hip hop scene and enjoyed notable appearances in Boiler Room, Coachella and Afropunk. Expensive hair brushes, long wavy hair and the finest bath robes that a man could buy is what being ‘cozy’ is all about.
Right now Cozy Boys are operating lowkey and do make spontaneous appearances from time to time - so watch this space.
Founded by core members Robert Gallardo and Tan Camera, AWGE is the brainchild of all things ASAP MOB and the starting point for the creative direction when collaborating with different brands. The heavy influence of 35mm photography lead by Kimi Selfridge pays tribute to the group's love for boutique brands such as Goyard, Gucci and RAF Simons with a touch of street flavour in Palace Skateboards. With any campaign that AWGE generate, it is done with a high level of creative direction (evident in ASAP Rocky's Instagram Feed), and over time has stepped up its brand direction.
Self branding is not only what AWGE represents, as it is responsible for launching the careers of artists such as Playboi Carti - whose album recently went platinum throughout America. All credited to the influence and creative direction from AWGE in his breakout music video ‘Magnolia’.
If you have ever come across a bold orange ‘V’ it’s very likely that it pays homage to VLONE, spearheaded by ASAP Bari, ASAP Rocky and CLOT’s Edison Chen, who base the brand off how ASAP views success, failure and scandal.
VLONE’s creative directors have the freedom to do as they please which has seen the brand create pop up stores in NY, LA and London generating a high demand for streetwear buyers. VLONE doesn’t create clothes for the high end market, instead influencing the everyday struggle and tough past life experiences. This has lead to a VLONE x Nike Air Force One collaboration that sold out within minutes and fetches resell prices in the early thousands.
VLONE is scarce upon releases but ASAP BARI confirms that 85% of the time when purchasing an item, he is the guy handing it to you personally - a more genuine experience for buyers around the world.
We really can't point out any faults with the ASAP Mob because everything they do represents the same tone of voice they have been symbolising since day one - staying true to not only to themselves, but to ASAP Mob as a whole, regardless of their critics negative opinions.
Doing things differently, expressing your life experiences through creative aspects and not conforming to trends is something that anyone can learn from ASAP Mob.
A guide to creative success by ASAP Mob.
Rest In Power, ASAP YAMS aka Yamborghini aka Puerto Rican R.Kelly.
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