“Yeah that was so weird,” reports Rejjie Snow of his stint, a year ago, at London Collections: Men. “People were just staring at me while their models just stood, looking static. It was trippy but beautiful, like some shit you’d dream about.”
Performing at Fashion East’s Menswear Installations in a sparse top floor space off New Oxford Street, the rapper’s presence was the nucleus of Lulu Kennedy’s SS15 event; elsewhere in the room Shaun Samson was making his London return with a surprise presentation, while Marques’Almeida’s second menswear season was partnered with women’s pieces and a mass of sand.
As Kennedy – with new baby in tow – exposed old guard press and buyers to her team’s latest selection, a posse of (predominantly) bright young things surrounded Snow, near alone on stage and draped in a Liam Hodges tee and Martine Rose camo jacket.
“We all be taking influences from each other,” the Irish rapper asserts of his sartorial delivery. “Unless you’re out there in the streets, then I dunno where you’re getting your style from.”
“I went to Nigeria a couple times as a kid, that shit was crazy. Had me going back to Dublin on some futuristic wave, but mostly just hanging around and seeing people on the streets,” he continues of his influences.
Two summers after the ‘Rejovich’ mixtape came out, the video for Snow’s latest single, ‘All Around the World’ has just dropped complete with a cameo from Johnny and Vanessa’s daughter and Karl Lagerfeld’s new muse (if rumours and a sunglasses campaign be believed), Lily-Rose Depp.
It’s the 22 year old’s own spell in front of the camera however that has Clash chasing agents, PR’s and the rest: late last month French Connection previewed its new AW15 campaign, with Rejjie the co-star.
“Shooting that was a good experience. I got to feel like a model for a day, it was some Hollywood shit,” he confirms of the New York scenes. Had he heard of Harley Weir, the campaign’s lens woman and noted hero of the contemporary photography sphere, previously? “Nah I actually hadn’t but when I met her, I could instantly tell she was on her shit. She’s a master of her craft.”
Defined by the big FCUK guns as a celebration of ‘individuality and emerging talent’, the new campaign series is a plain departure from previous efforts, such as the Rankin shot ‘From Sketch To Store’ AW13 campaign that saw garments drawn on to naked flesh. Weir’s shots, in their place, pose a warmth that is both modern and authentic, beautiful and simultaneously fresh as. The addition of quotes – from the ‘talent’ – across the imagery suggests an almost collaborative approach.
The other ‘face of’ title falls to the actress, model and sculptor, India Salvor Menuez. “Such a cool and down to earth person,” her counterpart assesses, “Was a pleasure to work alongside India. She’s actually working on a movie right now, which she’s starring in and directing; look out for that.”
A child circa the initial ‘FCUK’ 90’s hype, Clash wonders what has informed Snow’s own impression of the label. “My mom used to shop there when I was a kid and she’d dress me in mad stuff, so I always knew about it,” he offers. “They seem like they’re making some cool stuff, shout outs to FCUK.”
Boasting 44.3k followers to his 141 posts on Instagram (Facebook tops 46k), it’s easy to see why the brand has tapped him to present its new image, possessing the sort of credentials such heavy weights crave. But what does he make of a commercial label borrowing his image in such way?
“It’s all appreciated, you know. Anybody who wants to see you better the position you’re in gets my respect, and respect from me goes a long way. Forever grateful and thankful for the opportunity.”
Words: Zoe Whitfield