In the three years since Tierra Whack first emerged on the hip-hop scene, the Philly-based rapper-producer quickly became known for her experimental wardrobe as much as her critically-acclaimed hits. Nowhere is this more evident than her onstage performances, where her fantastically cartoon-ish getups shine in all their psychedelic glory.
Her eclectic style is a reflection of her general, all-in approach to risk-taking, as well as an ongoing creative partnership with her longtime stylist Shirley Kurata. "I just always stay true to myself, and I never bend or fold when an opportunity comes my way because I know what feels right and authentic to me," Whack tells PAPER of her cultivating her unique fashion vision.
She's long championed emerging designers and fashion school graduates like Borbala, Stina Randestad and Randestad, oftentimes commissioning custom pieces from them. The results is a wardrobe that's unapologetically bold, and, well, whacky. In her world, freaky is always better.
So it's fitting that her upcoming collaboration with Vans is every bit as colorful, fun and playful as she is. The collection, which comes out December 3, was designed by Whack alongside Kurata and the Vans team. It incorporates some loud '80s references paired with classic Vans elements and features mélange of colors, shapes, patterns and phrases.
She cites her earliest memory of Vans from her time in high school. "All the cool kids had Vans, so I had a few pairs." she says. "They were affordable, comfy and versatile. I remember I wanted to learn how to skateboard just so I could match the swag and aesthetic! That didn't work out well for me, I stuck to music."
Among her favorites from the collab are the Weird Hype checkered Old Skool shoes and the yellow Standard Snow MTE boots. Other standouts include a yellow pleated skirt, the 'It's Okay to Cry' 2fer shirt and the yellow puffer vest.
The best part of her foray into design? Putting art on fabric. "I've found another way to express myself," she says. "I feel so proud wearing something I helped design... choosing the colors, styles, fabrics, materials etc. The whole process has been extremely fun!"