American Sabotage Spring 2025 Ready-to-Wear: A$AP Rocky’s Takedown of the American Dream

A$AP Rocky may look like he’s living the American dream as part of one of the world’s biggest celebrity couples, but the rapper-turned-designer used his eagerly anticipated debut show at Paris Men’s Fashion Week to critique his country.

With his new brand called American Sabotage, presented under his creative agency AWGE, Rocky’s first collection was a pointed takedown of the political and economic structures of the U.S.

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The show was held in the gilded rooms of Karl Lagerfeld’s former residence, while the scene outside was chaotic as spectators lined the streets to get a glimpse of Rihanna and other celebrity guests.

She made a last-minute entrance, then filmed the action with her phone from her front-row seat. Other guests included Maluma, Pusha T., No Malice and LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton scion Alexandre Arnault.

Designers also came out to support Rocky’s first foray onto the runway, with Loewe’s Jonathan Anderson and Willy Chavarria turning out for the extravaganza, while Pharrell Williams dropped in backstage before dashing off to a dinner he was hosting across town.

From the first looks that emerged to the distorted strains of the “Star Spangled Banner,” it was clear that the elements of the designs were off-kilter.

A slim-cut business suit turned out to be backless. That quickly gave way to Rocky’s take on layering, with plays on the sagging-pants hip-hop style interpreted to the max. Three or four boxer-short bands peeked out from under jeans, and multiples of waistbands were stitched together to create a miniskirt.

The coed collection played on these proportions in cropped blazers and belly-baring suits for women, and oversize suit jackets for men topping multi-waist trousers. Upside-down bomber jackets were a key shape, zipping up from the bottom and leaving the neck exposed.

“It was inspired by just poverty every day that I saw, mass incarceration, tax,” he said backstage after the show, describing the collection as “political satire.”

“We’ve got different political satire, and it’s just about telling my story through that,” he said. “Hopefully I didn’t commit treason.”

A look with a tattered American flag as a skirt.
A look with a tattered American flag as a skirt.

The performer put his First Amendment rights to good use, turning a tattered American flag into a skirt, and employing a crisper version in place of a bandanna under a baseball cap.

Desecrating the American flag has a long history of controversy, becoming legal via a Supreme Court decision in 1989, though bills to ban it are frequently reintroduced in Congress.

Other looks featured a grotesque caricature of Uncle Sam flashing dual middle fingers screen-printed on a rabbit’s fur, its legs still splayed, pinned to the back of a camo jacket.

The juxtaposition of suiting and T-shirts emblazoned with 1865, the year slavery was abolished in the U.S., was meant to draw attention to the current state of an exploitative economy, Rocky said.

“Basically, it is about capitalism,” said the rapper, who is also a brand ambassador for Bottega Veneta. “I think people capitalize off of mass incarceration, obviously. So, that’s just how it intertwines.”

Some looks had models carrying garbage bags full of money, while others were toting sacks full of what appeared to be trash carried like a yoke across the shoulders or clutched in a fist.

A look from A$AP Rocky’s American Sabotage collection.
A look from A$AP Rocky’s American Sabotage collection.

One look was directly inspired by Rocky’s observation of a homeless woman carrying a haul of plastic bottles in a large transparent bag, a scene from New York City’s Cortlandt Alley that he’d captured and showed on his phone.

The models were not carrying detritus, however. Instead, bean bag seating pulled from his Hommemade interiors collection was made to look like full trash bags.

When John Galliano showed a collection inspired by homeless people in 2000 it was a fountain of controversy, but Rocky recalled his own youth. “I grew up in a homeless shelter, so I just felt that it was necessary,” he said.

Elsewhere, he took the crux of hip-hop style and pushed it forward with an apocalyptic bent, including face coverings made out of bandages, or a model toting a protest-ready gas mask.

“Don’t Be Dumb,” the title of his forthcoming album, was writ large on a T-shirt-shaped sculpture, seemingly suspended on the model’s chest, and a flesh-colored bodysuit was covered with crumpled — and strategically placed — shopping receipts.

Many items were upcycled and repurposed, Rocky said, which could be seen on NYPD sweatshirts, USMC T-shirts and DEA baseball caps.

The most obvious nod to his perspective were T-shirts blaring the words “Political Satire.” Couched digs at the American dream such as a T-shirt with photos of Martin Luther and Coretta Scott King juxtaposed with Barack and Michelle Obama reading “Dream Realized,” or a bar code labeled “Product of Social Security,” were more effective.

A look from A$AP Rocky’s American Sabotage.
A look from A$AP Rocky’s American Sabotage.

It may be satire, but Rocky takes the business very seriously. There was plenty of merch with the brand’s name — baseball caps, branded T-shirts printed with bulletproof vests, and boxing trunks emblazoned with the slogan “American Sabotage.”

He partnered with Alpine Cars — with three flashy models on display at the entrance — Puma, Ray-Ban and Shopify on this collection, some of which was immediately for sale.

The new album, which will drop on Aug. 30, also became available for preorder at the end of the live broadcast of the show. The runway served as a secret listening party of sorts for some of the new tracks.

After the show, guests sipped Champagne and were served slices from cakes that were shaped like cocaine kilos and rolled dollar bills, or Glocks and AK-47s with signs that read: “It’s easier to buy a gun than a cake.”

For more Paris men’s spring 2025 reviews, click here.

Launch Gallery: AWGE Spring 2025 Ready-to-Wear Collection

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