Milandou Badila, the artist known as Young Paris, grew up surrounded by the arts. His late father was a dancer and choreographer who was also the co-founder of the National Ballet of Congo. His mother was a playwright and dancer. As a child, his family relocated from Paris to New York, trading the romantic City of Lights for the hustle of the Big Apple.
As an artist, he draws on this cross-cultural dichotomy to create music that blurs the line between genres and regional movements. His 2016 African Vogue EP demonstrates the way he’s able to seamlessly blend together elements of hip-hop, EDM, trap, afrohouse and afrobeat together to create his own universe.
When he was three years old, Badila was given his first maquillage, undergoing a Congolese tradition that denotes tribal individuality through face paint. The color yellow embodies the sun, red symbolizes the blood of the people, green represents the verdant earth rife with food, and white pays homage to the spirits of the past. Badila’s face was adorned with several white dots placed under his eyes, and over time he added to it, a few dashes over the eyes and a crescent embellishment to his crown chakra.
Young Paris’s embrace of tradition, modernity, and a global sense of individuality adds a unique synergy to what designer Alessandro Michele is creating at Gucci. In our eyes, that makes him the perfect person to add his own touch to Gucci’s recently released capsule collection for MR PORTER. Highlighting pieces like all-over print track jackets, velvet-trimmed sweat shorts, and embroidered zip-up hoodies, Young Paris lends the clothing an inimitable energy and a confident sense of masculinity.
See Young Paris in action in our video below:
For even more Gucci goodness, check out every piece from the MR PORTER x Gucci collection.
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- Director: Jian DeLeon
- Photographer: Thomas Welch
- Producer: Jordan Boothe
- Videographer: Dana Reeves
- Stylist: Adrian Carter