Pusha T is in a black Uber car wearing a black Play Cloths hat backwards, a gray Play Cloths T-shirt, and faded, distressed jeans. He's on his way to a meet and greet in South L.A. to promote the new collection of Play Cloths, the brand he started in 2008 with his brother No Malice. On the way there, a friend and business partner points out local sites to Push, including the Angelus Funeral Home and it's drive-thru wakes. It's not the rapper's first time in the neighborhood—we drive by the same area where the video for the Kendrick Lamar-assisted song "Nosetalgia" was filmed—but he expresses the same curiosity and respect that surrounds any of his projects, be it music or Play Cloths.
Many of Pusha T's decisions have been influenced by a reverence for his surroundings, for fashion, and for those who came before him. He specifically mentions BAPE's Nigo, Pharrell, and Kanye West. He hasn't modeled his own clothing line for the brand's lookbooks because he says he'd rather focus on quality and good design than use his fame to push the brand. He also initially turned down a collaboration with adidas because, as he says, he didn't want to add anything to what are already classic silhouettes just for the sake of it.
But he's ready to take things to the next level—starting with Play Cloths. We talked to Pusha T about the brand's new collection and where he sees the line going. The rapper also shared his 10 favorite brands, more on his upcoming adidas collaboration, and how being around guys like Pharrell and Kanye West has helped him.
What was your inspiration for the new Play Cloths collection, Curse Your Luxury? It's about putting Play Cloths in a particular space. I feel like, as far as streetwear goes, man, Play Cloths sits at a top-tier of quality, and your idea of luxury should not stop where you feel like you’re at the obvious. You have to look at [Play Cloths] in a certain light, I believe. And I just think that the whole title and the term is about being looked at in a certain light. Like, yo, Play Clothes is one of those brands.
Can you explain the meaning behind that name? Curse Your Luxury was Smurf [Play Cloths’ head designer]. Smurf presented the title to me and I feel like the line, being based loosely on my looks, and so on and so forth, is a play on that. I’m known for a lot of high-end shit, and I feel like Curse Your Luxury is a play off of what I’m about and my love for streetwear.