Who Is Azealia Banks? Meet Fashion’s Latest Musical Obsession

Back in November, we received an email from a friend who works at Rolling Stone. Subject line: “AZEALIA BANKS.” Body text: “Tell me you know her. I LOVE THIS SONG.”

We did not in fact know her, but one listen of “212” and we were hooked. This girl was COOL, with her denim cutoffs and Mickey Mouse sweater, dirty mouth and megawatt smile. But who exactly was she? It was at this point we fell down the internet rabbit hole. We read her interview with the Village Voice and found her cover of Interpol’s “Slow Hands”. Then Pitchfork talked to her, and “212” made all sorts of year-end best-of lists. The music world was hooked on the 20-year-old rapper, and now the fashion world is too.

Last month Nicola Formichetti had Banks perform at the Mugler men’s show. Karl Lagerfeld showed her off at his version of a house party. The Kaiser even gave her a sweater with his face on it! Today she got the New York Times Style section treatment, in which her look was defined as an “anti-glamorous mix of Harlem swagger and downtown cool”. She’s also set to pose in a plethora of lettered fashion publications like V, T, and GQ.

So, is she the real deal or just a flash in the pan? Musically speaking, we think she’s got it, though we only have a handful of songs to judge her by. As far as fashion is concerned, we would much rather trumpet the cool-though-relatable style of Banks than the costumed excess of Nicki Minaj. (That said, even Banks has admitted the similarities between her and Minaj are plentiful.) We’re guessing the New York native will make an appearance or three during Fashion Week, both in the front row and on stage.

What we gon’ do when she appears? Probably sing along.

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