Rapper's Old-School Fashion Line Far From OutKast
Andre 3000 designs label for mod preppy
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 2, 2008 2:18 PM CDT
"André Benjamin ... really did look as if he would rather curl up at home with his Singer than be known as another singer who can sew," Eric Wilson writes of the rapper-turned-designer.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – With a nostalgic collection far more ambitious than those of most celebrity designers, rapper/actor André Benjamin—aka André 3000, half of the duo OutKast—looks “like Ralph Lauren having a Steampunk moment,” Eric Wilson writes in the New York Times. The Benjamin Bixby collection, “inspired by Ivy League athletics of the 1930s,” shows he “would rather curl up at home with his Singer than be known as another singer who can sew.”

“For an African-American guy to be a prep, that’s a dichotomy,” said Benjamin. His label plays off that tension: Its first menswear collection features retooled preppy classics like newsboy caps, bow ties, college sweaters, even the shortened pantaloons known as plus-fours. Benjamin has already won the support of the fashion world; his collection is on sale at Barneys, New York's top department store.