Monday, February 25, 2008

Andre 3000's Rebel Gentleman Line: Benjamin Bixby



Andre3000 is a genius.
Seriously, his kind of flyness isn't birthed everyday. Some work for many moons to get in touch with that level of archetypal identity. It's only right he's founded a clothing line that shares the shine with his peoples (hopefully there will be something for the femmes as time goes on).

His clothing line, Benjamin Bixby, is said to have been inspired by images drawn from college football circa 1935, apparently sparked by the flame of a documentary he stumbled across on television one evening. Too slick to half-step, he sketched all of the designs himself for the 70 piece self-funded line. He's inspected the wares at Italian factories and Parisian textile fairs, even taking advice from Ana Wintour who invited him to a Met gala.

Benjamin Bixby, he describes, “is a character who’s kind of like your uncle, or your granddad, and he has a closet full of experiences and clothes, and he’s been around the world.”

Naturally, Benjamin Bixby would be the eccentric traveling uncle (the one with a secret door to the dreamworld behind the grandfather clock in his study).
And don't worry, Andre's still recording. Expect an album from the subcultural titan this fall.

(Apologies on the delay in posting)

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According to Ny Mag:


That mix of application and instinct carries over to his personal style. It takes a certain serenity to rock the resplendent Bixby outfit he recently wore to a Fashion Week party: wide-brimmed fedora, green waistcoat, buttery brown leather riding boots (“vintage”) that pushed his pants up, jodhpur style. He looked more like a wealthy, eccentric caballero than a thirties jock toff, but then, he wants the line to tell stories. Benjamin Bixby, he says, “is a character who’s kind of like your uncle, or your granddad, and he has a closet full of experiences and clothes, and he’s been around the world.”

He’s worn pretty much everything during his OutKast career, from garish plaid to polka-dotted bow ties to pimp furs to turbans to leopard hats to military gear to golfwear.
Other Benjamin Bixby pieces, like a pink sweater with a giant emblazoned B, continue a long-standing hip-hop fascination with preppy style that includes the nineties appropriation of Tommy Hilfiger and Phat Farm’s urban take on Ralph Lauren. Growing up in Atlanta, Benjamin was part of a “prep crew” at school with noted butler Fonzworth Bentley. “It was all about being a prep. It was about ties and saddle shoes and Guess overalls and stuff like that.”

Tearing pages out of magazines as a kid left Benjamin with a reverence for English style: He fetishizes “timeless” clothes, name-checks old-school brands like Turnbull & Asser, and calls his own style “classic spontaneity” or “rebel gentleman.” What this means, in effect, is doing a little remix.
Here, he’s wearing a Fa├žonnable shirt with Polo khakis and a tie from his new line worn as a belt. “There has to be something inventive about it,” he says. “But not so inventive that it’s a turnoff. So that some of the greats, like Beau Brummell or the Duke of Windsor, would nod and say, ‘Well done.’ Those guys killed it.” Now, that’s hip-hop.




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