For Def Jam Record’s 30th anniversary, GQ has tipped their hat to the legendary hip hop label and recognized their role in converging hip hop with fashion. The men’s mag celebrated the founders of the label, Rick Rubin and Russell Simmons, and the artists who helped the label skyrocket to success, like Public Enemy and The Beastie Boys, for making fashion statements by simply being themselves.
The article reads:”Their cool came from their lack of anxiety about that fact. You could see it in how they presented themselves, how they dressed, in what was basically the detritus of New York City: big scruffed-up parkas, discarded military jackets, work boots, hooded sweatshirts. Worn in that unselfconscious way of people who have yet to see themselves in the mirror, let alone on the cover of a record. Like teenagers, which is what they were.”
Rubin was also featured in the piece as he gave his retrospective POV on Def Jam’s influence in fashion.
Rick Rubin On Russell Simmon’s Fashion:
“Russell’s uniform in those days was like what a substitute teacher wears—like, a tweed jacket with arm patches. He wore penny-loafer shoes. I think, at the time, he wanted to give off the air of, uh, professionalism.”
What Rick Rubin Run-DMC Did For Fashion:
“Run-DMC, I think, was the first group to establish what we called the B-boy style, more like what the kids in the audience were wearing than what the people onstage were wearing. The people onstage wanted to look more like Eddie Murphy, who wanted to look more like Michael Jackson.”
Read the article in full over at GQ.com