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Kojey Radical talks style

The socially conscious London rapper dishes his fashion tips

  • Interview: Sean Griffiths | Photography: Sherelle Thomas
  • 6 April 2018

When I was a kid I’d change two or three times every evening: I’d have my watching-cartoons outfit on first of all, and I’d change again after dinner.

When I was a teenager I was doing a bad imitation of Pharrell, Andre 3000 and Lupe Fiasco. Now I’m doing a better-than-terrible imitation of them.

I like straightforward clothes with a twist. My hat is a regular black cap, but the fastener is bright yellow and extra long; it’s from VMADE, a Hong Kong brand that was using overdone plastic labels and bright yellow security tape long before Off-White started doing it.

I’m wearing straight-leg trousers, tucked into socks for an equestrian look. I have to tuck them. I don’t have the ankles for that much material.

I’m wearing Maharishi socks today and it’s one of the brands I’m loyal to. I like great design but I need my clothes to be durable. With Maharishi, the design comes first but they make sure the clothes wash well.

My jacket’s by Diesel, with a print on the back. If I’m on the train and someone has something written on the back of their jacket, I can’t help but read it. I wore a jacket with ‘God Is Female’ on the back at London Fashion Week. If the message is interesting, I’m happy for someone to use my back as a billboard.

On stage, you need to be able to breathe and move. At one of my first shows, I started in a sheepskin Adidas jacket before changing into a beige jump suit – the great thing about a jump suit is you can peel it down to just trousers.

I studied at the London College Of Fashion. In fashion school, you can spot the people trying really hard a mile off. It’s the people who have effortless style and have just picked things up in charity shops that everyone becomes obsessed with.

I look to brands like Walter Van Beirendonck and Acne for inspiration – they’re always a year or so ahead of the high street.

I’ve got to travel more through my job and I think Brazil is one of the most stylish places I’ve been. There’s a massive Japanese and Korean population there, too, so they’re right in between two worlds – there are some great boutiques in São Paulo.

I don’t get attached to clothes, but there’s one hoodie a girl lent me I’d like back. It had “fuck you” written all over it.

My mate came round the other day and was like, ‘Look what you’re wearing just to chill in your house!’ I was wearing these Stone Island aqua blue trousers that zip down to shorts, and a Commes De Garcon’s t-shirt. I hadn’t really thought about it but I was like, ‘Yeah, I’ve got nice stuff on just for watching TV.’

One of my biggest fashion mistakes was a pair of turquoise skinny jeans. My friend gave them to me because he wasn’t ready to commit to the skinny jean life, but they didn’t fit me right. They just looked like oddly fitting jeans.

‘If Only’ by Kojey Radical is out now

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