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The Guardian Interviews Andre Benjamin for Benjamin Bixby

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Andre Benjamin talks to Simon Mills about his favorite shopping spots in London, how his outfits have evolved, and his ambitions for his fashion line, Benjamin Bixby.

Hackett, the young Sloane’s outfitters, is his favourite stop-off. Benjamin spends a small fortune there and knows all the staff. “You might think that a rapper from the deep south of America might not be our typical customer,” admits Hackett’s co-founder Jeremy Hackett. “But the fact that Andre comes at our clothes from a different perspective, not burdened with any of the preconceptions about class and sartorial stereotypes that a British customer might have, means he looks at the clothes in a new and fresh way. He puts our stuff together in a way that we never imagined and he is totally fearless with colour combinations. He’s got a really good eye.”

Was there something subversive about a poor young black kid dressing up in the preppy duds that were the privileged mufti of the Wasps? “A little. I guess it’s all about the twist, really. Everything is slower in the south. But we wanted to educate ourselves. Every kid was a fashion victim back then, but as you get older you learn and you become the killer not the victim.”

“When the OutKast sound changed and I started producing my own records, I would mirror what I thought that character doing that music would look like. As the sound got a little wilder, freakier and funkier, so did the clothes. Then when the sound got more sophisticated, the clothes changed again.”

[Seen at the Guardian via Selectism]

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