Beyond his harmonic sounds, electronic influence and rockstar riffs that redefined what it means to be a modern hip-hop artist, Kid Cudi has carved out his own lane as both an artist and a curator for cool.
How is he a curator of cool? Cudi is impeccably dressed. Blurring the lines between coveted streetwear pieces and minimalist high-fashion aesthetics, his daily wears and coveted collabs display such.
With his first ever collaboration with Parisian fashion brand A.P.C. having launched today, we thought we’d take a look back at some of the artist’s most ground-breaking fashion collaborations.
Mr. Rager’s A.P.C. collaboration is organic as it gets. Just by looking at his style over the years, his wardrobe can generally be described as minimalist – seeing many of the same silhouettes worn continuously with both simple, but always classic design details.
Not only does the partnership fit Cudi’s minimalist palette, but he’s also worn the brand’s offerings, like the Petite New Standard jeans, for years. These styles are not only simple but they also never go out of style or fit into a specific trend.
How’d he get to working with A.P.C. in 2019? Check out the tale of the tape below.
Surface to Air
In his music video for his song, “Mr. Rager,” Cudder teamed up with fashion brand, Surface to Air on two different leather jacket silhouettes which were also produced at retail in limited quantities.
Kid Cudi already incorporates leather jackets into his daily wear rotation, so it would make sense that his collaborative collection would feature a unique spin as one of his everyday favorite essentials. The moto-inspired jackets each utilize a black leather construction with metal hardware, diagonal pockets, and even red accents as a nod to Michael Jackson’s Thriller.
In 2009, Kid Cudi teamed up with BAPE for an exclusive collaboration that worked his own persona into the Baby Milo series.
With three different iterations of both Shark Hoodie adaptations and other familiar BAPE characters, each shirt represents Cudi and his affinity for the brand he’s developed after working at the NYC store after moving from Cleveland.
A Kid Named Cudi x 10 DEEP
Alongside Kid Cudi’s mixtape release and listening party for A Kid Named Cudi, presented by 10 Deep in 2008, the streetwear icon also made Cudder his own co-branded shirt that complemented the motif of the mixtape.
Featuring a moon in space graphic with the text, “Up There” written in green on the back, the shirt would see a reissue in 2018 to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the mixtape dropping and would sell out almost instantly.
Kid Cudi x Giuseppe Zanotti
Kid Cudi teamed up with luxury footwear brand Giuseppe Zanotti for an exotic silhouette that builds off Kid Cudi’s sophisticated wardrobe. Channeling elements from Moon Man’s dreamy and energized sound, the shoe incorporates elements from his noteworthy style, featuring a red nappa leather upper with puffed up design details that generate a progressive appearance.
Contrasted with an off-white midsole and ripple outsole, the sneaker is also tonally embossed with Kid Cudi’s branding in a contemporary font on the Velcro straps.
Virgil Abloh x MR. RAGER Tour Merch
Virgil Abloh and Kid Cudi teamed up for the artist’s MR RAGER collection of merch for the PASSION PAIN AND DEMON SLAYIN tour back in 2017.
Featuring four different long sleeve tees, the tour’s name is stamped onto the designs in a trippy font that matches the designs from the graphics of Cudi himself. Other graphics include a purple zebra print, as well as two different forest pictures. While the designs themselves aren’t minimalist, they’re just abstract enough to complement the look of a basic tee that matches the Rager’s simple style. Have a look at some of the tour merch via Hypebeast below.
Kids See Ghosts x Cactus Plant Flea Market
To celebrate the launch of their summer album, Kids See Ghosts, Kid Cudi and Kanye West teamed up with Cactus Plant Flea Market for a graphic heavy collection of crewnecks, hoodies, tees, and jackets that each feature a worn-in and washed out finish.
Embellished with phrases like, “Camp Flog Gnaw,” “I Feel Free,” and “Lucky me, I See Ghosts,” each piece also focuses on wearability and owning the DIY personalization that’s become so popular in fashion. For a full look at the collection, view some of the imagery via Hypebeast below.
Kid Cudi x Just Don
Kid Cudi got his own custom Cudder hat from Just Don that also pays homage to the city of Cleveland where the artist is from featuring inspiration from the Indians baseball team’s colors and logo.
Additionally, the hat incorporates Don C’s signature snakeskin application on the bill with the back being a fitted — not a strapback — for a one-of-one exclusive design.
While Kid Cudi doesn’t have his own official collaboration with Louis Vuitton, there have been plenty of times where it felt like Cudder made different LV essentials look like sought after grailed essentials – even before Virgil Abloh took the role as Creative Director.
While obviously appearing in Abloh’s first presentation for the brand during the SS19 collection, Cudi was even wearing Kanye’s Louis Vuitton Don silhouettes and making it look so cool and casual that it seemed as though it were his own project.