How Ksubi Became the Denim Brand All the Stars Are Rapping About

Paul Morigi/Getty Images for DIESEL
Travis Scott performs on Feb. 13, 2016 in New York City.  

You know Travis Scott as one of the buzziest musicians in today’s rap scene. If not, then you definitely know him as, potentially, Kylie Jenner’s baby daddy. But what you may not know is that Scott is a huge fan of cult-favorite denim brand Ksubi (pronounced soo-bee)—so much so that when the beloved Australian label opened a store on La Brea in West Hollywood about a year ago, Scott was one of the first customers to shop the selection.

“He pulled up out front, bought three pairs of Ksubi jeans and left,” says Craig King, the CEO of Ksubi. “We got in contact and offered to dress when for Coachella, and one thing led to another.”

What it led to, amazingly enough, was a 10-piece Ksubi x Travis Scott capsule collection, comprising denim, tees, hoodies, and bombers, which is slated to drop Oct. 12. There are ripped jeans slashed down the legs, worn-in tees tagged with words like, “Birds of the Air” or “Eternal,” and graphic-bearing hoodies, all with Scott’s famous eagle and flaming dollar motifs scattered throughout (Scott has already been seen in the denim jacket and jeans). In short, it’s a collaboration that fuses Scott’s eye for streetwear with the denim brand’s commitment to originality and creativity.

“With Ksubi, I was able to go with the good vibe and put my personality into this collaboration,” Scott tells Billboard. “It’s a dope brand I’ve been wearing it for a while.”

The starting point for the collection was the concept of La Flame (a Travis Scott brainchild) ‘taking over Ksubi,” King explains. “This was a concept we both loved but Travis added elements like the double pocket and vibes from his own aesthetic that we hadn't thought of, ”he continues. “Travis mixes up [his style] a lot but always has a handle on hard edged street, which is a space we like to play in. Whatever he wears he always looks like ‘him,’ which is cool.”

Ksubi was founded by Gareth Moody, Dan Single, and George Gorrow in 1999 to fulfill a desire for jeans with a good fit. Today, Ksubi has evolved to become one of the most in-demand denim brands in the world, specifically among musicians. And the love runs deep, too. Rappers like Lil Uzi Vert, Playboi Carti, A$AP Ferg, and XXXTENTACION, have all given shout-outs to their Ksubis in songs. So how did that happen?

“Did Ksubi drift into rap's shipping lane or did rap's aesthetic drift into Ksubi's? We aren’t entirely sure,” King confesses, but goes on to credit the founders for creating a truly original brand that resonated with consumers on a global scale. “We do feel Ksubi has always maintained a certain street presence, which lends itself to contemporary rap style, but we have also had amazing support from the likes of Travis, A$AP Rocky, and The Weeknd. No doubt rap is the most influential music in pop culture and fashion. Travis, along with a handful of others, is leading that influence, so we wanted to have ‘a moment’ with his fans and ours where we brought DNA from the two together.”

The Ksubi x Travis Scott collection ($120 to $450) will be available in stores and online Oct. 12 at General Pants CoKsubiKith, and more.


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