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August 30 2014

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1 posts tagged "Men’s Fashion"

On the Rise: Kid Cudi and the Male Crop Top

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2014 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival - Weekend 1 - Day 2One of the most talked about fashion moments of Coachella’s first weekend didn’t belong to Pharrell, Beyoncé, or Jay Z. Kid Cudi had that honor when the rapper stepped on stage in an athletic red crop top with cutoff jean shorts, exposed BAPE briefs, and a gold bolo tie necklace, no less, providing the Internet with days of fodder. Some got angry, others were just confused, and a few went as far as to predict that Cudi’s provocative top is destined to spark a trend.

Those in the latter group aren’t far off. Crop tops for men have been gaining steam on the runway over the past few years. Just as the midriff-baring top went high fashion for women—receiving an update from designers like Proenza Schouler, Prada, and Topshop—younger eccentrics and established brands alike are reimagining it for men. Four years ago in Milan, flamboyant label Frankie Morello showed two versions of the abs-flashing top, one graphic tee reminiscent of Wham!’s namesake crop top and a knitted take that left less to the imagination. That same year, Calvin Klein sent out cutoff outerwear and cropped T-shirts stamped with the brand’s name. Copenhagen maximalist Astrid Andersen followed suit the next year with her own cheeky cropped muscle tee. Since Andersen started experimenting with it more over the past two seasons, other designers like Hood by Air, J.W. Anderson, and Sibling have been chiming in with their own renditions, taking the crop top from the Muscle Beach days to the catwalk.

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Hood By Air Fall 2014 Photo: Yannis Vlamos/IndigitalImages.com

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Astrid Andersen Spring 2014 Photo: Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images

The male crop top has an even longer history in pop culture, being championed by everyone from Prince to Will Smith as the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. But it’s been on hiatus for nearly a decade, until Kid Cudi brought it back this past weekend. Whether the rapper is channeling a throwback look or a runway trend, it’s an indication that mainstream rap is continuing to evolve to become sartorially more inclusive—Kanye West weaving high-fashion references into his verses; A$AP Rocky embracing forward-looking, androgynous looks; and some even embracing womenswear, like Atlanta upstart Young Thug in his leopard peplum dress. Coachella, it seems, has become the premier location for rappers to take big style risks—remember when Ye wore a Céline shirt on the very same stage three years ago? Cudi, who was once signed to West’s label, GOOD Music, is now breaking down hip-hop’s rigidly masculine boundaries in his own way.

Photo: Tim Mosenfelder/WireImage