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Smoke DZA Tells Us His New Rugby Line, Upcoming EP with Vado and Ralph Lauren Inspiration

So your collection count is obviously more than 300 pieces now.

Oh, I lost count, I don’t even count no more.

Have you ever lent some pieces away to like friends or family since starting your collection?

Nah, I keep all my pieces, I don’t give ’em away. Even if they don’t fit, like I might’ve bought some slim fit back when I was a little slimmer you know [laughs], I’m getting a little money now so I can mess with the classic fit. I got hats, scarves, belts, socks, wallets—you name it.

What’s the most expensive piece you purchased? Do you remember?

I got a cardigan, wait [short pause] that’s kind of a hard one. I don’t know. I got a lot of expensive pieces. But see the fucked up part is, I could remember when I actually paid what the ticket was, but I haven’t done that in so long that the price doesn’t really matter. I [end up getting] it regardless. I got a lot of pieces that’s worth some shit though.

How would you describe your affinity for the brand? At this point do you just cop whatever that’s a new arrival?

I started buying it because I liked it. Anything I like, I overdo. Like I love smoking weed so, I smoke a lot of weed. It goes hand in hand. I love Rugby, I love Ralph Lauren so I abuse it. I used to go to the store and get everything that I can fit. “Give me every Rugby that’s 2X classic fit I need all of that,” and I would get it. But it wasn’t like I was paying the $150 or the $200, I spent so much in there that now the DM loves me. The District Manager will come out like, “Nah he’s good, Friends & Family,” it’s all love. I [also] got a lot of friends that work there so, I get the call, I look at the lookbooks and get to pick what I want before it arrives in stores. It works out.

You’ve been a ’Lo Head since your childhood correct?

I always loved Polo. I never really embraced it as much as I do in recent years, but when I was younger I was into everything. I wore Iceberg, I wore Coogi and I wore everything that was hot. But once I started growing into my own, and figuring it out, Ralph Lauren was the route for me. Now I’m venturing into my own shit ’cause I have a good fashion sense, I know what I like and I know what’s dope so, it’s going to work for me with that.

What’s going to be the challenge you think, with balancing the rap career with this new fashion venture?

The challenge with this is I get to be hands on but I’m not an idiot, like I’m dealing with people that’s already been in this thing for a long time. So basically I just yay and nay what I like but I don’t really have to be hands on with dealing with that type of [thing] because that’s not my strength. I’m gonna be dealing with my strength which is knowing what I would like. I know what kind of patterns I want so, I’m gonna go with that and let the people that do the other shit, do the other shit. I’m gonna fall back and be Smoke DZA [laughs].

Have you ever met Ralph Lauren?

Not yet but, I spoke to a lot of reps. Ultimately, that’s the goal. To collaborate with the OG and get that going like that.

So if you meet him, what’s the first thing you’d tell him?

I’m gonna shake his hand and tell him thank you. That’s the first thing. First and foremost, Thank you for what you’ve done for the urban brand and to help keeping jiggy niggas fresh. You know, he helped us be clean like, Ralph Lauren [the brand] is something clean and also affordable clean. It’s not like Givenchy or Gucci or Louis Vuitton and all these other high-end shit, which is cool also but, Ralph Lauren—it could be that too with Black Label, Purple Label—gave us a lane to be fresh.

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