When one of your tracks opened the Mugler men’s wear show in January, chances are, Nicola Formichetti will be on to you. And when that happens, Lady Gaga will take notice. When you’re invited to perform at the launch of Karl Lagerfeld’s new line (one more time) Karl, chances are, the folks at V mag will be on to you. And when that happens, you will appear in the pages of the publication. If that’s not enough, how about this: Terry Richardson has shot her for New York Time‘s T mag!
Azealia Banks’s route to fashion stratosphere is via Youtube, a platform so watched that going viral has completely no negative connotation it once had. And if you must know, it’s been viewed more than 4 million times as I write this. Her self-released track Bambi that first soundtracked the Mugler catwalk may evoke Disney cuteness but the lyrics are far from sweet or anything a 20-year-old may wish to sing. Her debut single 212, I have to admit, is an infectious dance number, but every line that she raps and sings is expletive-ridden (from the b-word to the f-word to a lot more others!). I sense anger in her words, but she mouths them as if auditioning for entry into music school. Her performance on video is almost too cute (that smile!), and the cut-off denims and vintage Mickey Mouse pullover she wears are as teeny as the clothes preferred by so many high-school-going girls. And they are disarming. If you’re lyric-deaf, you’ll not catch the gutter mouth.
The music industry took notice of her before the fashion world drop their drafting chalks to listen. BBC nominated her for Sound of 2012 (she came in third), and before that she sat at the apex of NME‘s ‘Cool List’ of last year.
Many people consider her lyrics crass. But so is a lot of fashion out there.