Androgyny is not readily associated with the hypermasculine genre of rap, but Young Thug, née Jeffery Williams, is introducing the hip-hop world to the gender-fluid fashion concept. The rapper and frequent collaborator of Kanye West and Chance the Rapper, who’s known for his experimental, ambisexual style, made a gender-fluid fashion statement in an outfit by Alessandro Trincone on the cover of his new mixtape titled “No, My Name Is Jeffery.”
Young Thug was introduced to Italian designer Trincone’s work through VFiles after he was selected as one of the platform’s seven participants in its spring 2017 fashion show. For the past six seasons, VFiles is a community of emerging designers, stylist, models, hair and makeup artists and teamed them with industry mentors. This season, Young Thug joins Naomi Campbell, Mel Ottenberg, Pat McGrath and Jerry Lorenzo on the mentoring panel.
According to a representative for VFiles, while mentoring Young Thug was instantly drawn to Trincone’s collection, saying, “If I don’t get this for my cover I’m going to die.”
Young Thug released the mixtape album cover Thursday, wearing Trincone’s Japanese-influenced blue, floor-length skirt and white shirt with a hat resembling a parasol. It was 2:30 a.m. in Italy when the designer’s cell phone went crazy with notifications, e-mails and new followers reacting to the cover. “I couldn’t sleep because of the feelings that I felt when I found out — so excited, so happy and so proud of it all,” he said.
Collaborating with Young Thug was an ideal fit for Naples-based Trincone, not only because of the publicity boost but because he wants to redefine masculinity through fashion. His nascent label, which launched in fall, is billed as gender neutral. “My brand aesthetic is about people, with a focus on men who want to express themselves,” he said. “We all must be true to ourselves. No matter what you wear, someone will judge you, even if you are wearing something more classic. So what’s the point of dressing for others? My collection is all about being real, open, honest and free with a touch of elegance. I wear what I want to wear, and I will be who I want to be.”
Trincone will be showcasing his collection at the VFiles Sept. 7 show along with Ground Zero, Rushemy Botter, Sanchez-Kane and Song Seoyoon.