When your dad is a superstar mogul, your mom is a former model and you can get runway pointers from the most famous supermodel on the planet you’re destined for your own turn in the spotlight. Enter model and rapper Christian Combs who has certainly taken a page out of his parents’ books in his own Gen-Z way. From runway appearances at Lanvin during Paris Fashion Week this January to a remix feature on one of the hottest albums of the year to being the newest face of Rihanna’s Savage x Fenty men’s line, Combs has not let up on his plans for domination in a year that was anything but easy. We spoke with the rising star on how he’s come into his own, how he balances the fashion and music worlds so well, and plans for his future in music and the runway.
Congratulations on the Savage x Fenty show that you were in. It was great to see guys involved in the model line-up for the first time. How was that experience?
Thanks, that experience was dope. I was super excited to be a part of that. When originally Rihanna reached out to me that she wanted me, I was surprised like, “Damn Rihanna of all people, needed me to be the face?” I had to stop everything like, hold on, I’m going to have to go work out (laughs) but then I saw that the purpose of her show was to bring in different people with all different types of body types. It was truly an honor.
Yes, I saw on your Instagram, you threw back to this old photo of when you first met her; how long have you known her?
I’ve known her for a minute, actually! That first picture was 11 or 12 years ago at my Pop’s (Sean Combs) New Year’s party. I always had a crush on her and that’s when she was on the rise. My uncle said, yo you got to go up to her and we got to take a pic. I took it further though and was like we have to get her number! She gave it to me and I just texted her like once every three months, just to check-in. It all came back full circle with her reaching out to me.
That was your latest runway experience, but I was looking back on and saw that your debut was back in 2018 with Dolce and Gabbana. How was that first experience compared to now?
The first experience was really crazy. I always loved fashion and music, and I had always overheard my mom talk about modeling but I never thought that I would be walking on a runway or doing anything like that. So when they said that I got the gig, I thought, I don’t know if I’m down to do this but then I was like, why not? Let me represent for the dudes out there, really try to show the swag, take it to a whole other level, and influence generations. After I did it, a whole bunch of rappers and other influencers started to do it too.
So you’ve walked Dolce and Gabbana and Lanvin, but do you have any other dream brands that you would love to collaborate with?
Shout out to Dolce which was like one of the biggest fashion brands to debut for. I’d also want to work with Louis Vuitton and I always loved Gucci. Prada for sure. Hopefully, I keep everything right for the possibility one day.
How would you describe your own sense of style currently? What are you really into?
I definitely incorporate those brands I mentioned in my style, which I would say is shirtless most of the time (laughs). Besides that, I like to wear whatever looks fresh. It could be a brand that no one knows at all, just like one of my friends, but it could be one of my favorite styles based on how it looks and feels. I’m not really big on the only luxury name brand thing personally. I like wearing Jordans, Air Force 1’s, you know?
Jumping to your own personal projects, I saw your recent collaboration with 730LA. Fashion and music are so intertwined in your life so how have you been able to take from your own parents’ experiences and bring that into what you’re creating?
First and foremost, it’s about originality. 730LA, that’s not just my brand that I came up with from scratch, it’s my friend that is out here in LA and we’ve known each other for years. Ever since we met, we collaborated on clothes, and then everyone started wanting the clothes that we were making. We put the buckle on it, the famous buckle, on the pants, the hat, the jacket and everyone went crazy for it.
Your new remix with the late Pop Smoke for his ‘Diana’ single, recently released. How was filming the video in New York?
Rest in peace, Pop Smoke. That was definitely a big one to shoot, because actually on the night that he passed, he was talking about the video and talking about how we wanted to make it a movie, how we wanted to give it that New York feeling, bring that rich feel and that celebration feeling to it, and not just have it be gritty. For Pop, we needed to be able to shoot that and carry on a part of his legacy, because it’s something that we talked about in the last few seconds of his life. It was super fun for me because I love New York. I’m from New York, but now in LA. Every time I come there, I feel like I’m at home, and I have a different energy.
Absolutely. And you just dropped your new single Legacy, where you talk about a lot of personal feelings including the sudden passing of your mom. What message did you want your listeners to kind of gain from the single?
I just wanted people to be able to dive into my brain for a second, through everything that I’m thinking of besides just money, cars, and my girl. The other things that I’m thinking about that are important to me – I just wanted to give them a glimpse of that.
Are there any artists that you would like to collaborate with? And if so, why? Who’s on your radar right now?
I would say Swae Lee. Swae Lee got something dope coming. Young Thug is dope. Roddy Rich. Dipset. Jim Jones, Juelz Santana.
We’re talking about what you’re building currently, but what legacy would you like to kind of be known for in fashion and music?
I want to be known for a positive legacy that can show the next generation how to do it – tap the younger generations looking up to me and wanting to have a legacy like mine. Something that’s timeless, that lives forever, carries on and keeps pushing the culture forward.
When you were first learning about modeling, did you emulate anyone’s career or look up to anyone to teach you the ropes? Who was the person who you thought “I’m trying to be like on that level?”
I would say, my Mom. She would always tell me before any runway or photoshoot little pointers like, be free, be yourself. Don’t think about it so much. Show your swag. She honestly would be at most of those photoshoots, almost all of them that I did.