Outkast fans can expect to see more of member Andre 3000 in the upcoming months. Besides prepping for a solo album and starring in the new film Battle in Seattle, the Atlanta native is working on his clothing line Benjamin Bixby [click to read].
The name comes from an episode of MTV's Punk'd where Andre was duped at the scene of a bogus car accident. When asked his name by the Maybach salesman, he quickly fabricated "Bixby," the last name of the actor who starred in the television version of The Incredible Hulk.
Andre debuted his line of men's wear this past February at New York Fashion Week. Inspired by early Ivy League athletics, the collection includes plus fours (trousers associated with the golf attire of the late 1800s) and club sweaters with leather elbow patches. Different from clothing lines like Rocawear, Phat Farm, and Sean John, which ultimately target Hip Hop consumers, Benjamin Bixby seems to be designed for a whole other era.
"For an African-American guy to be a prep, that’s a dichotomy," Dre told the New York Times. "Prep style comes from mostly affluent families who just wear these cool clothes. But when you come from a background that has more struggle, your take on it will be different. There’s a certain kind of rebel to it."
Those who have been following "Three Stacks" since Outkast's debut album, Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik, are accustomed to his distinct, eclectic, retro style. In fact, the reaction from young men has been strong, said Tom Kalenderian, the men's wear fashion director at Barney's where Benjamin Bixby will be displayed. "Though you are looking at plus fours and collegiate sweaters that remind you of the past, it is very current with today."
While the clothing line is different from what Hip Hop consumers are used to, Dre is still excited about the project.
"What I love are the possibilities," he said. "It’s the same thing in music and the same thing in acting and the same thing in fashion. If I want to play this person, I can become this person."
Andre's style was shaped as a teen in Atlanta where he often customized his clothes by dying his jeans all sorts of colors. His flair for eccentricity has been a catalyst for the creation of Benjamin Bixby.
"I can’t pretend I’m from New England or I’m at school at Harvard or Oxford, but when you think of men’s dress, you have to give a nod to England. They created it all and brought it to America. We calmed it and made it cool."
Reported by Salima Koroma.