When I heard that Snoop Dogg would be debuting a clothing line at Made LA, I had no idea what to expect, but had a feeling it would be, at worst, entertaining and, at best, incredible. It was the latter.
The iconic rapper, weed entrepreneur and cooking-show co-host had some tough acts to follow: Moschino and Opening Ceremony, two of the brands best known for finding creative ways to entertain guests with their runway presentations, showed on Thursday and Friday, respectively. But despite the somewhat surprising fact that it was his first runway show ever, we'd argue Snoop blew them both out of the water on Saturday afternoon.
The set — at Made LA venue L.A. Live — included real old-school Cadillacs and assorted traffic signs. "For the set, we really wanted the low riders to give it that hip-hop feel," explained Snoop's 20-year-old son Cordell Broadus, the mastermind behind the collaboration. "We wanted to create a fun, backyard BBQ vibe — one big Snoop Dogg family party." The show was preceded by a video montage of interviews with Snoop that Broadus, whose career interests include both film and fashion, created. (He's currently a film student at UCLA.) At one point, offering a clue to his reasoning for taking part in a clothing line, Snoop says, "Now, lookin' at Gucci and Louis Vuitton, and all those niggas that stole my shit."
With the smell of weed emanating throughout the venue, Snoop then walked casually onto the runway with a posse of women in blue bandana-print bikinis and a few guys in similarly old-school-West-Coast-hip-hop outfits, rounding out the feeling that we were all in a '90s rap video. He then entered a DJ booth in the middle of the runway and really set the tone for the show by starting his set with "Next Episode."
The line, created in collaboration with LA streetwear company Joyrich, was showcased on a racially and physically diverse cast of models, including Broadus, his brother and his grandfather. The models embodied the '90s-era Snoop-meets-modern-day-stoner vibe perfectly, from head to toe — with both guys and girls' hair worn either natural or in tidy braids, accessorized with tube socks and Adidas slide sandals. They eschewed a traditional runway walk in favor of a chill stroll. Walking in pairs, many of them mouthed the lyrics to the music Snoop played, did fist pumps and handshakes, and even threw up gang signs as they posed at the end of the runway. One even walked the runway with a lit blunt in his hand, which got passed along to others on stage. Several more were lit during the finale, which was essentially a brief dance party. From look to personality, the casting — by diversity-focused casting agent Kevin Amato of Mothermgmt — was perfect. Everyone was into it, including the audience; we were all bopping our heads to Snoop's tracks and cheering for every model by the end — and nothing felt forced.
The clothing itself was just as on point. It felt both true to the "old generation," as Broadus put it, and desirable for 2017. Every piece, especially the pants, was worn appropriately baggy. Sweatshirts, sweatpants, T-Shirts and even dyed (presumably faux) fur coats featured drawing and letter graphics, including gang signs, images of Snoop and words like "Doggystyle." Fittingly, Broadus and his dad tapped Snoop's cousin Joe Cool (who did the graphics for "Doggystyle," the album), to collaborate on the line. Best of all, it will be pretty affordable, with prices ranging from $60 to $250 according to Broadus. The line is set to drop on Oct. 20 — Snoop's birthday — at Joyrich stores.
In a time when streetwear is hitting its peak as an influence on seasonal runway collections, Gucci is knocking off Dapper Dan and people like Kylie Jenner are taking clear inspiration from black artists, the line was a welcome and successful antidote to the industry's rampant cultural appropriation. At first, I couldn't put my finger on what made the show so great, why it all worked so perfectly and effortlessly, and I realized it was because it was so purely authentic. It wasn't a fashion designer taking "inspiration" from, say, '90s West-Coast hip-hop culture, but rather it was an icon and trendsetter of West Coast hip-hop in the '90s — and his in-touch younger son — keeping it 100 percent real.
Stay tuned for more images of the collection.