Still, the Migos phenomenon is much bigger than one song. Despite their age (Quavo is the oldest at 25), the group has been one of the more successful southern trap acts on the scene since they first formed in 2009. And the trio owe a healthy portion of their success to a sense of style that’s been four years in the making.
“Their fashion is very forward-thinking, and not scared to try new things,” says Daps, director of the two latest Migos videos to set the internet ablaze, “Bad and Boujee” and “T-Shirt.”
Though hip-hop’s relationship with fashion stretches back to its birth, the genre’s modern obsession with clothes has been well-documented, from Kanye’s revolutionary style to Young Thug’s transformative wardrobe. The trend has been monetized, too, in pop-up stores from the likes of Drake, The Weeknd, Rihanna, and more.
But Migos might be three of hip-hop’s most underrated style icons, as evidenced by the sneaky success of the group’s last two singles, which have gained attention due to their visual aesthetics as much as anything to do with their music.
Migos' first breakout single, “Versace,” charges headfirst into one of the world’s most established, high-fashion brands. The accompanying video for the 2013 track shows Migos surprisingly at home and comfortable in the flowy silk of the designer clothes. “Cheetah print on my sleeve, but I ain't ever been in the jungle,” Quavo raps as he walks an actual cheetah.
But back then, Migos' sense of style was still mostly aggregated, borrowed from here or there, and not particularly memorable. That would remain the same through the success of 2014’s Hot 100 hit “Fight Night.”
When 2016’s “Look at My Dab” rolled around, Migos started coming into their own senses of style. The music video showed Quavo — easily identifiable by his trademark shades — and Takeoff taking more risks with their look, veering away from traditional southern threads, showing more skin and wearing tighter pants.
And then came “Bad and Boujee.”
Migos’ mission statement on “Bad and Boujee” is similar to the re-inventing of old-money brands we saw on display in “Versace.” In the video, The guys wear VLONE and Vetements while Chinese food is eaten out of Chanel-labeded boxes and ramen noodles mingle right alongside $250 bottle of Armand de Brignac champagne. It’s an easy enough metaphor to swallow, and one that might feel a bit tired if not for Migos culturally pitch-perfect style, which has reached a creative peak lately.
“A lot of times they’d wear things where I said, ‘Woah, don’t do that,’” Daps says. “And it ended up being dope. In ‘Bad and Boujee,’ Quavo wore, like, some poncho. Takeoff had very specific things that he wanted to wear in the ’T-Shirt’ video. They’re quite in-tune with what would work for the video.”
“T-Shirt" is the latest Migos visual to take the internet by storm, dropping online on Jan. 6 and already climbing into the millions of views. The video sees Migos reaching way back in mankind’s fashion timeline — literally all the way back to the dawn of man. Quavo, Takeoff, and Offset swag out in the snow, wearing thick layers of primal furs. They’re supposed to look like fur trappers (get it?). Years later, perhaps we’ll look at this as the birth of “settler-chic.”
And though Migos have cemented their status as certified fashion trailblazers, in Daps’ opinion, its still the music that sets them apart. “Let’s be perfectly honest,” he says. “Migos changed rap music -- whether people want to admit it or not. When they came out, they changed the whole entire game. New flow, new cadence, new everything. And people latched onto that.”