Behind The Scenes With A$AP Nast On The Makings Of Warby Parker’s Latest Collection
Music industry icon A$AP Nast guides VMAN through his aesthetic themes, design processes, and how he translated his old-school allure through Parker’s latest collection.
To A$AP Nast, the key to being in style is merging maturity with playfulness. With this approach, the enigmatic rapper and fashion industry muse have carved himself as a force in the hip-hop community and a visionary dresser. Best known for his ’90s style East Coast Hip-Hop flow and his time in rap collective A$AP Mob, Nasts’ roots in the industry applaud a coveted style found not just in his lyrics but also in his fashion direction. Therefore in an era of bold aesthetics and avant-garde salutes to design, who better to apply some old-school suave than Nast in Warby Parker’s newest NYFW collection? Translating his “grown-up” New York spirit through color patterns, silhouettes, and proportions, Nast weaved his worlds, turning the Warby Parker launch into a hub of creativity.
Read the full interview with VMAN’s Kevin Ponce below as the musical maestro guides us through his aesthetic themes, design processes, and, ultimately, how he created the limited edition Warby Parker NST2-002 sunglasses.
VMAN: How did the collaboration come about? What was it about Warby Parker that intrigued you enough to be your partner in this?
A$AP Nast: Warby Parker reached out to a friend of mine, one thing led to another and then the collection happened. I liked the idea of partnering with Warby Parker because when you buy eyewear from them they distribute a pair to someone in need, which I thought was really cool and I’d never heard of an eyewear brand doing that before. I also just thought the brand was cool in general and love eyewear so I was just like “Ok cool, this is a go.”
VM: What did the design process look like from start to finish? Did you already have the color-ways and frame styles in mind?
AN: I didn’t have anything in mind, the design process just kind of came about organically. I took a trip to New York for the first design meeting where they gave me a run-through of their office and showed the ins and outs of what they do and how they can make things happen. From there we had a couple of phone calls and Skype calls since this was still during COVID so I wasn’t able to go into their office that often, but we made it work and it led to a beautiful collab.
VM: What do you think defines the perfect pair of sunglasses? (Do you currently own them or do you think you’re one pair away from designing the perfect ones?)
AN: Yeah of course I own that pair, sure. But I think what makes the perfect pair of sunglasses is the tint of the shade on the lens and then the frames and how they fit your face. Personally, I like more of a boxy frame but sometimes I can get cattier and go for a more feminine kind of frame or something like that. But for the most part, I think that the lenses have to be a certain color, and I think they just have to fit your face perfectly.
VM: What was a crucial detail you included when crafting up the glasses?
AN: Definitely the lenses for sure. Definitely the tint and then also just to add in there, I wanted to go for more of a feminine touch with the sunglasses, and that’s why I chose the shapes that I chose. I think they look amazing.
VM: The campaign images look insane—what was the feeling/ energy that you wanted captured when tapping Dexter to capture you and the glasses?
AN: I mean to be honest, I just wanted to look really really good and I wanted to give it an old-school touch. Who better to choose for that job than Dexter—he delivered, like he always does. So shoutout to Dexter Navy.
VM: I saw that you were styled in your own wardrobe for the images—There seems to be lots of range in the pieces you own. As you pull together looks, what level of importance do glasses play in your outfits?
AN: It’s funny because I love sunglasses but I just can never keep up with them. When I get dressed they always play a huge role but somehow I just am always losing my sunglasses. I love them to death but always lose them. I am obsessed with them—I have over, I don’t even know how many pairs, I can’t count them all.
VM: Many would say your style is known to be bold—how in line would you say the glasses remain with your style DNA?
AN: It’s all in the color for sure—the bright pink and the white with the green tint on the lenses.
VM: In your eyes, What has been the biggest change in your evolution of style from your earlier days to now?
AN: Definitely maturity—I’ve become way more mature so the things I go for are a little bit more grown. But I can still be playful sometimes. I think the key to keeping in style is kind of having your own grown-up approach to it but still knowing how to be playful. It’s that, and understanding silhouette and color palette for your own skin tone. It doesn’t matter what color you are, what race you are.
VM: Within the current landscape of fashion, what are some forces that are keeping you inspired lately?
AN: Just the everyday lifestyle that I live—I can be inspired by anything.
The A$AP Nast x Warby Parker sunglass collection is now available to order on WarbyParker.com