On Thursday night at El Privado, the basement club at the Hotel Americano in Chelsea, Marisa Flores, a chirpy former skate industry insider who now works as Lil Wayne’s stylist, took a moment to ponder her client’s look.
“I used to call it, like, street chic,” Flores said. “But now I want to call it pajama swag.”
Wayne, a sometimes virtuosic, often psychedelic rapper from New Orleans had just arrived at the bar, the sight of a launch party for his new T-shirt line, Trukfit. Dressed in red plaid drawstring pants, a bright pink T-shirt, matching hat and a pair of moon boots designed by the artist Terence Koh for Opening Ceremony and Forfex, he took his place in a booth behind a gauzy curtain and a security guard.
“Everybody’s into suits right now,” Flores continued. “For me, I don’t understand, if I was a man, why I’d be in a suit.…It’s really mostly about comfort and being comfortable and just kind of expressing yourself and wearing whatever you want. Pajama swag. You can roll out of bed, put it on.”
In a hallway behind her, a collection of living mannequins — Twentysomething dudes in cargo shorts, calf-socks and silver body paint — modeled the Trukfit collection: T-shirts and baseball caps indebted to Nineties skateboard brands and the Japanese streetwear designer Nigo. A collection of buyers and hip-hop editors milled about the room, as did the occasional famous face such as Russell Simmons and Ahmad Bradshaw of the New York Giants. Eventually Wayne ventured beyond the VIP booth to check in on the clothes.
“I was just waiting for the right time to bring it out,” he said of the line as the DJ played his signature hit, “A Milli.” A faint scent of smoke was in the air and the bar was still open, but the rapper’s only indulgence was a lollipop.
“I never had a good name for it, and I came up with the name and I thought it was perfect timing,” he said. (The venture’s press material explained that Trukfit is an acronym for “The Reason You Kill For It.”) Wayne’s attention by then had turned to his iPhone. Asked to describe the line in two words, he paused.
“Un…Usual,” he said with a grin that broke into a croaky laugh. “That’s one word.”