A$AP Yams Protege Tyler Grosso Talks Streetwear Line Superrradical and His Love of Britney Spears
When 22-year-old North Carolina-native Tyler Grosso was offered a job through Facebook as the late A$AP Yams’ assistant in 2012, he dropped everything and moved to New York City with $200 in his pocket. For three years, Grosso worked closely with the A$AP Mob, learning from the industry’s top charting hip-hop artists and style icons as their graphic designer and creative director’s right hand man.
“Yams was a true genius and visionary, no one ever had anything bad to say about him,” Grosso tells Billboard of his late mentor. In 2015, Grosso parted from the collective to pursue his very own streetwear brand Superrradical full-time. The edgy, minimalist clothing line has gained a cult following with collections typically selling out within the first hour of their release.
Now based in L.A., Grosso continues to cultivate his skate culture and music-influenced brand with fresh graphics and collaborations with designers like Lucid FC. The newest collection – which drops Tuesday Nov. 22nd at 8 p.m. EST on Superradical’s website – includes hoodies, tee shirts, and camouflage pants with a price range of $28-$175. Billboard spoke with the young designer about Superrradical and it's inherent A$AP influence.
What are some of the most important style tips you learned from your time with the A$AP Mob?
Man I learned so much about style from everyone in A$AP. I guess one thing I took was that you can mix and match and pull off anything. I could wear $400 pants with an $8 tee and a sweatshirt from the thrift store and have kids mimic my fit all day on Instagram.
You started making your own clothing in 2011. What makes Superrradical most representative of your tastes today?
Superrradical is a mood board of my emotions, what I love and what I hate, how I feel, everything. Every collection and every article of clothing I do is a representation of what I'm currently feeling. If I'm depressed, you can see that in the graphics and how the photos were shot. They might be dark and gloomy and edgy. As to where if I was happy during a collection, the clothes might be bright pastels with a lookbook shot in the sun, etc.
What are your biggest inspirations or influences for Superrradical?
Music, movies, and history in general. Music influences me heavy. I’m currently on a The Doors kick so I just listen to Jim Morrison while I design and also go to places The Doors related. Like this weekend I went to Jim Morrison's old house [in L.A.] and just sat on my car and wrote ideas down. I also like to watch documentaries or movies that tie to history, like flicks from or about the 70's or 80's or 90's, whatever it is I'm in the mood for.
Tell me a little bit about the new collection.
This new collection is something I've very proud of. It has my first cut n' sew piece, a pair of camouflage pants, as well as two hoodies and four more tees. It's very clean and simple, but hard at the same time. Some new colorways of a tee I dropped in the past, as well as some new graphics in the direction I'm feeling as of late. Its all very low-key and easily some of my favorite pieces to date.
Who is Gnarcotic and how did the collaboration for your tri-color camouflage pants come about?
Gnarcotic is a street wear brand from Atlanta, run by my homie Caleb. Caleb used to come to my old crib "Thot Mansion" [in L.A.] and we would just always say, "Hey, let’s collab," but never do anything. He dropped these sick camo pants and I was like, "Bro... These are game changers, you already know Supreme or Palace is gonna rip this idea.” Eventually, we settled on taking his original pants and remixing them with colors I tend to stick to – pink, purple, and yellow.
Who are your favorite musicians style-wise right now?
My favorite music artists currently are The Doors, Britney Spears, and Baby E. I actually just saw Britney for the second time this weekend. Shes soooo good live, I literally was in tears. But Baby E makes some beautiful music. He's signed to Young Money, Lil Wayne’s collective. Me and him have been working on some cool things lately, so everyone needs to hop on his music before it’s too late.