The musician Cordae first heard of Dior when he was 10 years old, while listening to Kanye West’s 2007 hit, “Stronger.” “My first interaction with the brand was when I heard Kanye rap the lines, ‘Awesome, the Christian in Christian Dior,’” the Maryland native tells W over e-mail. “I thought the name sounded dope and luxurious.” Surely, if you told preteen-aged Cordae he’d be sitting front row at a show hosted by the French label, he wouldn’t believe it. But at 24, the rapper and singer—whose career as a venerable pop star has soared at a dizzying pace since his debut album, The Lost Boy, dropped in 2019, and since several sightings of him with his girlfriend, tennis superstar Naomi Osaka—has attended a bunch of fashion events in the past couple of years. Among them: Dior’s spring 2023 capsule show, which took place on Friday, May 20 in Venice, California. The line, called “California Couture,” was made by Dior men’s creative director, Kim Jones, and guest designed by ERL’s Eli Russell Linnetz. For the occasion, Cordae flew into Los Angeles from Miami, where he was “cooking up music with Pharrell,” he says, and opted for a head-to-toe Dior look that included a pair of taupe clogs from the maison’s fall 2022 collaboration with Birkenstocks, a gray collared jacket, and white slacks with gray socks peeking out from underneath. “My goal in life is to always dress like a rich hipster,” Cordae says of his everyday personal style, adding that he loves peacoats, (“I’m a huge jacket/coat advocate lol,”) but the most prized possession in his closet is undoubtedly “the shoes that my brother let me have before he got locked up.”
The look Cordae wore to Dior’s men’s show is a noted departure from his style as a teenager, which he says entailed wearing “G-Star, a local D.C.-area brand called Solbiato, and Nike Foamposites and Jordans.” But it’s all part of an evolution of self-expression that extends from the way he dresses to the music he’s creating. “I’m taking a different approach this time around,” he says of his most recent time in the studio. “I’ve been working with a lot of different dope ass producers, being more experimental, trying different sounds. New music on the way fashoski.”
Below, Cordae shares a photo diary in his own words from the Dior men’s presentation—which includes getting ready at the hotel, meeting up with Kid Cudi, and flexing his Hit the Road messenger bag.