“I’m a rapper, I just play around in fashion,” Saweetie raps on her song “Pretty B*tch Freestyle,” a 2-minute ode to her icy girl lifestyle.
The Bay Area artist, born Diamonté Harper, has taken over social media in the past few months with digital content featuring her designer bags and clothing as special guests. Before this year, the rapper began to evolve her style with looks at fashion week, and a collection with Pretty Little Thing. Now, she has posted indoor and outdoor looks throughout the year, launched another collection with the fast-fashion brand, and solidified herself as a style influencer.
Her steady ascension in fashion is not by accident. Saweetie shared with UPROXX via email, her dedication to learning the history of style and design.
“My style is always growing because I am always researching to better my fashion, style, and taste,” she says. “I have a lot of vintage books like YSL fashion books to study past models and innovation on how these designers design their collections. I’m always eager to learn.”
In February, the “My Type” rapper attended Milan fashion week for the first time. She wore posh pieces from Prada, HARRYHALIM, Moschino, and a Romeo Hunt look she dubbed her one of her favorite.
With the extra time inside created by the events of 2020, when not recording music, Saweetie managed to merge her carefree personality with a natural skill for content creation, using Instagram and other social media platforms as her stage. She introduced viewers to her Birkin bags as play items, assigning them personas as one would play with Barbie dolls. In fact, the ‘Birkin Bag Bratz’ have their own Instagram account with over 50k followers.
For the “Tap In” rapper, it was not a huge struggle to adjust to more time alone.
“I have only child syndrome,” she says, “so I flourish by myself. I flourish in solitude and I have a lot of fun by myself. I’m always thinking of creative stuff to do, so quarantine has been fun to me. I don’t know; my mind is like a playground. I come up with these ideas and I think of them and write them down and then I execute.”
Saweetie has managed to capture the essence of her personal style and package it for retailer Pretty Little Thing. She has now released three collections with the brand which described the clothing and accessories as “our baddest collection yet” on the company’s landing page. The self-proclaimed creative director ensures the drops are only the beginning.
“You can always expect more from the Icy Girl,” she says. “My favorite brands range from Santee Alley to Rodeo Drive. It just depends on how your girl is feeling,”
Although she often name drops luxury brands on wax, taking on titles such as “The Hermes Mermaid,” Saweetie does not always rely on a pricy label to solidify her daily aesthetic. Still, despite her high fashion trajectory, she continues to infuse her personal style into her looks through hair, nails, and accessories. Her high-end pieces are often juxtaposed with style elements native to streetwear and staples to Black girl style. Jewelry such as oversized hoop earrings, layered chains, styled baby-hair, and long acrylic nails are often paired with sneakers, jeans, and crop tops. Most of her style inspiration comes from personal sources such as her mother, grandmother, and aunties.
“All the women in my family are fly as hell and they always had their own sense of style,” she says. “They all smelled good, they all can beat their face. I have always been inspired by them to look my best.
She also makes sure to empower Black communities and Black-owned brands as well as her other favorite non-Black designers, and she does so with intention.
“I feel like as any Black public figure, it is our job to endorse anything that can make our community better whether it is fashion or social justice,” she explains. “My favorite [Black-owned] brand to wear is Kai Collective.
Saweetie is hyperaware of the double standards imposed on female artists compared to their male counterparts when it comes to fashion and style. She uses the example of wearing a piece twice when making her point.
“I feel like women are always critiqued and put against each other when we wear the same thing and that’s lame,” she says.
Moving beyond the restraints placed on women in hip hop, on stage, on-set, or off work, the 26-year-old promises to be draped in an upload worthy look. In her latest music video “Back To The Streets,” featuring Jhene Aiko, she got to experiment with bold looks from head to toe. The entire scene was set to give viewers a new take on their view of California.
“I feel like Saweetie is more stage and Diamonte is more day to day looks, but I feel both of them are still serving,” she said. “My favorite look was the baldie look. That was my first time going bald. I wanted to give a fresher look of the West Coast that people have never seen before.
Soon, the West Coast rapper will release her debut album, Pretty B*tch Music. Much like her fashion sense, she has the highest standards for her new tunes. What can fans expect? “A culture reset.”