Hip-hop's current fascination with metal and rock-and-roll gear is apparent everywhere you look these days. Whether it's Travis Scott and Justin Bieber's merch looking like vintage metal band tour tees, or rappers in Iron Maiden T-shirts and leather motorcycle jackets, the look has gained huge popularity rather quickly. Of course, there's a unique spin on it that comes from mixing sportswear or classic sneakers with these rock-inspired pieces, so the look has evolved into something of it's own as well.
One artist and designer helping rappers develop and explore this style further is Pauly Bonomelli from Western Australia. Bonomelli, who goes by @himumimdead on Instagram, has been creating one-off pieces for rappers like Kanye West, A$AP Rocky, and A$AP Nast, among a few others. His custom pieces include patchworked denim and leather jackets, T-shirts with scraggly marker writings and designs all over, and some stenciling work as well. These designs all take inspiration from everything ranging from Metallica to Madonna, and are put together in a way that results in cohesive one-of-a-kind grunge creations.
Highsnobiety caught up with Bonomelli over e-mail, and although his responses were a bit cryptic, he gave a bit of insight on what it takes to get a custom piece from him, and how these connections came about in the first place.
What’s the story behind your work?
I’ve worked for fashion companies for years, did stuff for music and then a movie…always done art stuff for fun, mixing the two again as a bit of a crossover, like I did when I was at back at school.
What artists inspire you?
One of none…style should be about the individual again, not the flock. I like Enya and KLF and Australian crawl and my family.
How did the ASAP Rocky and Kanye West pieces come about?
They got in touch with me and supported by buying some gear.
What garments do you use? Do you have a specific brand you always use?
Working for a denim brand I use their product a lot, but I use whatever is around. I like what I like, as we all should. It’s about the product itself I guess, regardless of the brand.
How much do your custom pieces cost?
A trip home…