The Italian sportswear and outerwear brand Ciesse has just announced the cooperation with rapper J-Ax. SI wanted to know from the Milan-born rapper how the collabo came about, what makes up his fashion taste and whether there is a piece of clothing that has a special meaning for him.
You have just started a collab with Ciesse. How did it originate and how will it evolve?
It was born from the fact that the company heard a quotation in one of my old songs, “Timberland Pro,” where I mentioned the Ciesse down jacket as it has always been a myth for people of my generation and still it’s one of most favorite brands of kids from the ’80s. And, just like me, it has been cool since then. This collaboration has just started. The first thing we did was wearing different pieces of the Ciesse collection in one of my videos “Una Voglia Assurda.” And it will continue for about a year. I will wear pieces from the collection as Ciesse does pieces that perfectly fit my style and look. In addition we also have the idea to design a collection together.
Backstage image of the video shoot
We have just started working on it. I like that we are defining everything from an artistic point of view first. I want to show them my drawings and graphics and then we will decide if it’s going to be a capsule, how they will distribute it and similar aspects. We left everything very open on both sides–mine and theirs. I am speaking about this with you before than with them. One of the pieces I like most is the down jacket. So I also would like to create a down jacket.
What is your taste, in addition to Ciesse?
I just like the real classics. For high fashion I like everything Armani does. For streetwear and sportswear I like Adidas shoes, Levi’s jeans–it’s the only brand of jeans I wear…I don’t like seasonal trends. I like items that are authentic and last for a long time. I also wear Kangol caps as they are musts for rappers like me. Plus I like wearing rock bands’ T-shirts a lot. I don’t like to be a big showoff of popular brands.
Do you collect anything in particular? Sneakers, perhaps?
I love something typical from the ’80s–Zippo lighters and Ray-Ban glasses. I have about 100 pieces of each. I buy the Zippo lighters when I travel. While for Ray-Bans I get them for free as they send them as presents. There is special Zippo from the US from the 1940s. A relative of mine bought it during a yard sale. It’s very cool as it is decorated with an image of John Wayne. I own many sneakers, but I am not a collector. All this fuss about kids standing in a line for hours to buy exclusive models…It is something I don’t like.
Is there an iconic piece for you, but one for you for your memories or anything that remains stamped in your mind when you think of it?
The classic light blue down jacket of the ’80s reminds me of some great times and some mythic athletes…. I like things that never go out of style that have a great image and style that make them resistant to the passing of time and changes–which in fashion are constant.