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A$AP Ferg has been chosen as the first gentleman to be featured in Jimmy Choo’s Style Diaries series. In recent years, Ferg has become a staple influencer in both music and fashion realms, going so far as to launching his own fashion label and collaborating on many other stylistic projects.

Here, the A$AP Mob member brings his signature attitude to Jimmy Choo’s FW17 styles, from the SLOANE embossed slippers to the CASH low-top sneakers. Ferg in turn styled and led up the creative direction for the coinciding shoot in New York, captured in the iconic Grand Penthouse Suite of the Plaza Hotel.

The images ultimately tell the story of the artist’s journey to stardom, while pointing to such influences as David Bowie, Missy Elliott, Ludacris, late ’90s and early 2000s style, Diddy, and Busta Rhymes.

In addition to the shoot, Ferg sat down for a special interview where he dished on his own personal style, luxury fashion, sneakers, music, and more.

See below for some key excerpts from the sit-down, then follow on over to Jimmy Choo for the entire piece.

On what fashion and style meant to him when he was younger:

“Fashion and style means being unique. It’s being the first to have the Jordans or any new or rare sneaker; the first to be onto a trend and changing the game. I always wanted to be fresh going to school and have all eyes on me. I wanted my teachers to say, ‘Oh man, you have some new shoes today.'”

On how fashion and art feel distinct from his creative expression as a musician:

“Fashion and art opened the world up to me a little more. Through fashion and art, I was able to communicate with everyone in all walks of life. Rap can pigeonhole you sometimes and it can be hard to communicate with people outside of the hip hop community once you’re in it. But fashion and art are limitless. They allow me to think more broadly and help me to push hip hop culture forward.”

On his style influences:

“My style influences are David Bowie, Missy Elliott, Busta Rhyme music video costumes, Ludacris, late 90’s Early 2000’s, Diddy and the movie ‘Belly’. I heard Kanye say, he didn’t want to dress like normal people—people walking in the streets. He wanted to dress in costume. I liken myself to that because when I get dressed, I dress as if I’m playing a role in a movie. Ralph Lauren also said he would look at movies and want to dress like James Dean or actors in his favorite films. For me, it was my favorite artists in videos.”

On his personal style:

“My personal style is imaginative, moody and colorful, I love primary colors.”

On why sneakers mean so much to him:

“New shoes for me represented being fresh. When I was in Catholic school we had to wear uniform, so the only time I got to show my flyness was on Thursdays in gym and I would wear my new sneakers every week. Sneakers have always been a staple and still are a representation of how fresh you are. Now they’re coming in new styles, shapes and colors and are getting better as the technology improves.”

On why Harlem is so special:

“The spirit of Harlem is special as are the people that come out of Harlem. It’s a unique place, because the poorest person can have a rich energy about them. Our spirits are flamboyant and we have a lot of confidence.”

On if he had to pick between art, fashion and music:

“I would say music because that’s what has got me to where I am now. With music, I can talk about everything. I can talk about fashion, acting, art. I can make people visualize everything through my music. I think it’s important that I continue making music. Right now, it’s my biggest medium.”

Now see A$AP Ferg run NYC in adidas’s PureBOOST DPR LTD fall colorways.

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