Whether it's A$AP Rocky sporting a Gucci hoodie in the front row of the brand's recent fashion show in Milan or A$AP Ferg in a fluffy white fur coat over a T-shirt at Balmain's Paris Fashion Week afterparty, comfort is key for the members of A$AP Mob, whose relaxed, nonchalant sense of style inspired fashion's current "cozy" movement.
"'Cozy' is more of a feeling than anything," notes Ferg, whose sartorial choices range from velour tracksuits to the finest tailored couture, but ultimately are a reflection of his mind-set. "You can be in a suit, meeting with billionaires, but if you're confident, you feel cozy. You're in a room full of sharks and you're swimming very well."
Ferg, who also designs the Trap Lord streetwear brand, gives credit for coining the term "cozy" to late label executive A$AP Yams, who would attend major events in Fendi slippers and think nothing of it. "He was Cozy Yoda."
As A$AP Mob members have become staples on style blogs and often use the term (their 2016 album is called Cozy Tapes), cozy has also caught on as the in-the-know descriptor for high-end, yet relaxed clothing. Lawrence Schlossman, brand director for the community-driven online menswear shop Grailed, notes that "cozy isn't just a flash in the pan. It's not a niche thing. Anyone can be a part of a movement that's about functionality, comfort and style."
Allen Onyia, co-founder of UpscaleHype -- a website that fashion fans visit to see what celebs are wearing -- sees Kanye West as an early adopter. "He has made looking super cozy acceptable in the mainstream by wearing sweatshirts, hoodies and sweatpants 24-7. It's carried over into his designs for his Yeezy Collections one through five." In addition to Yeezy, the cozy effect was on full display in the recent runway shows from Fendi, Dior, Off-White, Fear of God and Raf Simons.
And it's not just for the guys. Rihanna is also on Team Cozy. "Those Fenty x Puma furry slides were a huge hit -- and cozy," says Schlossman. Retailing for $80, the slides -- along with the rest of Rihanna's association with the brand, which named her creative director in 2014 -- helped Puma's sales spike by 10.2 percent in 2016, according to the company.
Having given his artists the "Cozy Boyz" alias back in 2012, it's clear that Yams' spirit lives on. "It's a testament to Yams' legacy and the -widespread cultural significance that the A$AP Mob has," says Schlossman. "They've got this thing they proliferated and ran with -- and it's still relevant."
This article originally appeared in the March 18 issue of Billboard.