A$AP BARI

A$AP BARI

A$AP BARI

Bari, it’s quite daring to make leather sweats bright red. Or submerge Air Force One’s into a tank full of water. Is your philosophy as a designer to always be different?
I like being different. To me, it’s about being as creative as possible right now.
Is that because you feel you need to compete with so many others?
I try not to compete with anybody.
Why is that?
Because when you’re in competition with someone, your vibe isn’t right. Competition assumes that you’re going hard against another person, and I’m not really about that. I’m not really about that whole “trying to be better than someone” thing. I just want to make better situations for the world. So when I die, somebody will reflect upon my work and go “ah”. He kept his vibe positive. I
try, you know, I try to stay positive. That’s my art. With positivity comes this notion of doing things for the culture, which I feel is really important in your work. That’s mostly what I base myself around. It’s for the kids and
the culture.
How do you juggle designing with everything else you do - creative directing, throwing parties, launching pop-ups, styling artists?
Music inspired me to design. Design inspired me to stay with the music. It’s a natural thing. DJing is a hobby to me. It’s more of a fun thing for me that pays the bills. Everything else comes with the territory. You know, I don’t have a set schedule every day. I don’t use a daily schedule because shit might not go as planned. Life can fuck around and fuck you over. You just can’t plan everything.
You just turned 25. 10 years ago, at the age of 15, did you ever think you’d be where you are now?
By the age of 13, I knew, yeah. Since junior high, I’d been skipping school in Harlem to go to [art] school in Soho. Looking up to guys like Nigo, people like Pharrell and Ye, you know, shit like that inspired me. Like, I knew I wasn’t going to rap. I had friends who were talented enough to make music that sounded good. I just connected them with the people I knew who knew about the music game. Life is all about connecting the dots. Everything I do is about connecting the dots. From linking Rocky up to Yams, and Yams linking Rocky up to the internet, everything to me is about connecting the dots.
On social media, you seem like you have this crazy energy about you. Yet in person, you’re cool and collected. Where does that come from?
I mean, if I post something on Instagram, it might look like I’m really turnt up - that’s because I am really turnt up in that moment. I’m not posting on Instagram for the likes, I’m posting on Instagram for the moments. So if I’m feeling goodenough to post a photo, I might feel good enough to post that photo and then delete it the next day. I’ll wake up thinking that the vibe isn’t there, but it was there last night. Like, ok, I might have been a little bit too turnt.
I’m not really about that whole “trying to be better than someone” thing. I just want to make better situations for the world. So when I die, somebody will reflect upon my work and go “ah”. He kept his vibe positive. [A$AP BARI]
Do you bring a similar attitude to your design work?
Yeah, I try to include [going with the flow] in my life as much as possible. I don’t plan - my new thing is not to be planned. When you plan things, you’re setting aside time that can hold you back. Time is the number one factor in our lives. I believe if we could stop time - which we can’t - it’d be the best thing for the world. The only thing I can plan is making clothes. I just have to do it that way. Certain things you have to plan with time.
Right. As if there are two aspects to design: in one sense, you plan and, in the other sense, you live freely. But you can only be free if you’ve planned properly.
Yeah. There are certain things you can be free with.
What was going through your head when Nike came to you and asked you to design a Vlone sneaker?
I swear my whole life was reflecting upon that point. My whole life just reflected back to me. I remembered my first pair or Force’s. I thought damn, like, this is some shit...this is bigger than me doing a collection with my favorite designer. This is me doing my favorite shoe in the world. I thought back to my first pair, you know, my first pair of crispy white Air Force’s.
How old were you when you bought your first pair of Air Force One’s?
Like 4 or 5.
Wow. 20 years later and you’re designing your own.
Yup. 20 years later.
And did they give you an entirely free hand to design anything you’d like? How was working with Nike?
Yeah. They gave a nigga from the hood a sneaker deal. So, hell yeah. I’m working with Nike. What else can I say?
Let’s bring the conversation back to Vlone. From skate decks to leather sweats, and DJ sets to pop up’s, is there something unifying your work as Vlone?
Man, I just try to put out as much shit as possible. That’s about it.
“Every Living Creative Dies Alone” is the Vlone slogan. Is that something you believe in personally?
Well, if I’m right, we were all born
in this world alone. Even if you’re
a twin, you’re coming out into the world on your own. It’s not like a baby pops out of her mother and her sister’s right there next to her, attached to her, you know. Most of us were born alone. We’re going to die alone. If you kill yourself, you’re dying by yourself. Even if you kill somebody...you know, Live Alone, Die Alone is a perspective on life. It’s being a loner. Being alone.
It’s interesting that Vlone proposes such a strong, brutal mantra in light of your A$AP family.
You being a loner doesn’t mean you can’t socialize with people. There are certain things in life that’ll you want to accomplish and need to do alone. That’s why I made Vlone. I didn’t make Vlone on some “OK, I’m going to get a group of people, we’re going to start Vlone”. The whole thing came to me after listening to that [Kid] Cudi song, feeling like I was at a point in time where I was alone. We [in A$AP] were flipping words around, so the whole “alone” lifestyle became “Vlone”. If you look at it now, Vlone is it’s own word. There’s meaning to it. The meaning is Live Alone, Die Alone. But, the word itself is Vlone. It’s a family. It’s a lifestyle. It’s everything. My brand’s been around for four years and I’m only just starting to put out clothes. I’m growing with this shit.
Are you married to fashion? Will you always design clothes?
My whole thing is clothes, food, music. That’s my whole shit. Anything that I’d like to produce is either clothes, food, or music.
Food?
I was always into food. Before I was into clothes, I was into food. When I was younger, you know, being from Harlem, it was music first, then food, and now clothes. That’s all we do. But, I was always into cooking, you know. My uncle taught me how to cook at a young age.
Could you see Vlone doing it’s own spin on food?
Yeah. Hell yeah. Most definitely. I’m trying to be on my Nigo shit. I gotta get a Vlone barber shop. A Vlone cafe, a Vlone parfait. Vlone everything.
So, what’s next? Vlone x Off-White...? Vlone x Nike...? Vlone x ...?
Stay on my Instagram. Keep an eye on the Vlone Instagram.
Thanks, Bari, and happy 25th birthday.
Thank you.
Interview from Issue 6, Winter 2016 By Zachary Mars Photo by Joshua Aronson

A$AP BARI

A$AP BARI

Bari, it’s quite daring to make leather sweats bright red. Or submerge Air Force One’s into a tank full of water. Is your philosophy as a designer to always be different?
I like being different. To me, it’s about being as creative as possible right now.
Is that because you feel you need to compete with so many others?
I try not to compete with anybody.
Why is that?
Because when you’re in competition with someone, your vibe isn’t right. Competition assumes that you’re going hard against another person, and I’m not really about that. I’m not really about that whole “trying to be better than someone” thing. I just want to make better situations for the world. So when I die, somebody will reflect upon my work and go “ah”. He kept his vibe positive. I
try, you know, I try to stay positive. That’s my art. With positivity comes this notion of doing things for the culture, which I feel is really important in your work. That’s mostly what I base myself around. It’s for the kids and
the culture.
How do you juggle designing with everything else you do - creative directing, throwing parties, launching pop-ups, styling artists?
Music inspired me to design. Design inspired me to stay with the music. It’s a natural thing. DJing is a hobby to me. It’s more of a fun thing for me that pays the bills. Everything else comes with the territory. You know, I don’t have a set schedule every day. I don’t use a daily schedule because shit might not go as planned. Life can fuck around and fuck you over. You just can’t plan everything.
You just turned 25. 10 years ago, at the age of 15, did you ever think you’d be where you are now?
By the age of 13, I knew, yeah. Since junior high, I’d been skipping school in Harlem to go to [art] school in Soho. Looking up to guys like Nigo, people like Pharrell and Ye, you know, shit like that inspired me. Like, I knew I wasn’t going to rap. I had friends who were talented enough to make music that sounded good. I just connected them with the people I knew who knew about the music game. Life is all about connecting the dots. Everything I do is about connecting the dots. From linking Rocky up to Yams, and Yams linking Rocky up to the internet, everything to me is about connecting the dots.
On social media, you seem like you have this crazy energy about you. Yet in person, you’re cool and collected. Where does that come from?
I mean, if I post something on Instagram, it might look like I’m really turnt up - that’s because I am really turnt up in that moment. I’m not posting on Instagram for the likes, I’m posting on Instagram for the moments. So if I’m feeling goodenough to post a photo, I might feel good enough to post that photo and then delete it the next day. I’ll wake up thinking that the vibe isn’t there, but it was there last night. Like, ok, I might have been a little bit too turnt.
I’m not really about that whole “trying to be better than someone” thing. I just want to make better situations for the world. So when I die, somebody will reflect upon my work and go “ah”. He kept his vibe positive. [A$AP BARI]
Do you bring a similar attitude to your design work?
Yeah, I try to include [going with the flow] in my life as much as possible. I don’t plan - my new thing is not to be planned. When you plan things, you’re setting aside time that can hold you back. Time is the number one factor in our lives. I believe if we could stop time - which we can’t - it’d be the best thing for the world. The only thing I can plan is making clothes. I just have to do it that way. Certain things you have to plan with time.
Right. As if there are two aspects to design: in one sense, you plan and, in the other sense, you live freely. But you can only be free if you’ve planned properly.
Yeah. There are certain things you can be free with.
What was going through your head when Nike came to you and asked you to design a Vlone sneaker?
I swear my whole life was reflecting upon that point. My whole life just reflected back to me. I remembered my first pair or Force’s. I thought damn, like, this is some shit...this is bigger than me doing a collection with my favorite designer. This is me doing my favorite shoe in the world. I thought back to my first pair, you know, my first pair of crispy white Air Force’s.
How old were you when you bought your first pair of Air Force One’s?
Like 4 or 5.
Wow. 20 years later and you’re designing your own.
Yup. 20 years later.
And did they give you an entirely free hand to design anything you’d like? How was working with Nike?
Yeah. They gave a nigga from the hood a sneaker deal. So, hell yeah. I’m working with Nike. What else can I say?
Let’s bring the conversation back to Vlone. From skate decks to leather sweats, and DJ sets to pop up’s, is there something unifying your work as Vlone?
Man, I just try to put out as much shit as possible. That’s about it.
“Every Living Creative Dies Alone” is the Vlone slogan. Is that something you believe in personally?
Well, if I’m right, we were all born
in this world alone. Even if you’re
a twin, you’re coming out into the world on your own. It’s not like a baby pops out of her mother and her sister’s right there next to her, attached to her, you know. Most of us were born alone. We’re going to die alone. If you kill yourself, you’re dying by yourself. Even if you kill somebody...you know, Live Alone, Die Alone is a perspective on life. It’s being a loner. Being alone.
It’s interesting that Vlone proposes such a strong, brutal mantra in light of your A$AP family.
You being a loner doesn’t mean you can’t socialize with people. There are certain things in life that’ll you want to accomplish and need to do alone. That’s why I made Vlone. I didn’t make Vlone on some “OK, I’m going to get a group of people, we’re going to start Vlone”. The whole thing came to me after listening to that [Kid] Cudi song, feeling like I was at a point in time where I was alone. We [in A$AP] were flipping words around, so the whole “alone” lifestyle became “Vlone”. If you look at it now, Vlone is it’s own word. There’s meaning to it. The meaning is Live Alone, Die Alone. But, the word itself is Vlone. It’s a family. It’s a lifestyle. It’s everything. My brand’s been around for four years and I’m only just starting to put out clothes. I’m growing with this shit.
Are you married to fashion? Will you always design clothes?
My whole thing is clothes, food, music. That’s my whole shit. Anything that I’d like to produce is either clothes, food, or music.
Food?
I was always into food. Before I was into clothes, I was into food. When I was younger, you know, being from Harlem, it was music first, then food, and now clothes. That’s all we do. But, I was always into cooking, you know. My uncle taught me how to cook at a young age.
Could you see Vlone doing it’s own spin on food?
Yeah. Hell yeah. Most definitely. I’m trying to be on my Nigo shit. I gotta get a Vlone barber shop. A Vlone cafe, a Vlone parfait. Vlone everything.
So, what’s next? Vlone x Off-White...? Vlone x Nike...? Vlone x ...?
Stay on my Instagram. Keep an eye on the Vlone Instagram.
Thanks, Bari, and happy 25th birthday.
Thank you.
Interview from Issue 6, Winter 2016 By Zachary Mars Photo by Joshua Aronson