Jaden Smith is having a great summer. He just dropped his new single “Cabin Fever” as well as his first sneaker collaboration with New Balance, the Vision Racer. And the hits keep coming, as evidenced by the latest lookbook from his unisex clothing label MSFTSRep.
The “Trippy Summer” collection is inspired by the 1960s, including Woodstock documentaries Smith and his friends have watched, old art (that Last Supper reference in the photos is intentional), and multi-disciplinary collectives like the Merry Pranksters alongside rock-and-roll icons like Jimi Hendrix. “We were really drawn to the idea of reestablishing a movement of peace and love as a way to change the world and the consciousness of the world in these times,” says Smith.
The shoot is what Smith describes as a “mixed vision” between himself and Moisés Arias — the actor whose photography lives under his 490tx alias — who also lensed the lookbook.
One of the things informing Smith's vision is his desire to show the multi-faceted nature of Black aesthetics, doing his part to expand the canon of Black style, art, and concepts in his own way.
“I feel like the children of the African-American community are disproportionately affected by visual stereotypes — like ‘why are your nails that color?’ We designed this collection and lookbook for you to know that you can be whatever you want in this world.”
Among the tie-dyed hoodies, tees, and sporty coordinates includes a graphic T-shirt emblazoned with the term “Vibe Generator,” something that especially resonates with Smith.
“I really love that shirt in particular because we as people are vibe generators. We create the vibes around us and we can really set the tone — whether it's what type of music we play, or what we decide to do,” explains Smith. “We set the vibes of our area, we all bounce off of each other's collective vibrations.”
Taking a cue from some of Smith's other products like JUST Water, there's an element of sustainability built into his New Balance collaboration by way of using recycled materials. It's something he's planning on implementing into the MSFTSRep line. He's got a head of sustainability in-house working with factories on how to better their supply chain, an initiative that's been affected by Covid-19. Soon he'll also release the MSFTS Thrift collection, a line of pre-existing garments given new life through vibrant prints and other processes of reinterpretation.
“That would be the best thing — if we didn't have to actually produce any clothes at all and we can use clothes that already exist,” says Smith.