Theophilus London

Theophilus London

Musician. Los Angeles. In collaboration with Mercedes-Benz

Styling: Emily Ramshaw
Photography: Renée Rodenkirchen

Nothing like chilling with a Karl Lagerfeld-approved hip-hop star in a deserted studio in deepest Los Angeles. Right?

We’ll start at the beginning, because this is one for the books, you guys. And before we even get going on Theophilus London himself (in short, he was a big sweetheart, honestly—see his quote about his signature sunglasses), we’ll just set the scene. There we were, cautiously knocking on the front door of a monstrous building somewhere far, far away from Urth Caffé (that’s honestly the last thing we remember passing… it was nighttime, okay?). It wasn’t until London rolled up with his entourage (and a van full of his favorite clothes—more on that in a sec) that we got a tour of what amounted to an abandoned funhouse, complete with an all-fuchsia-everything room dedicated to vintage concert posters and a collection of out-of-order retro arcade video games.

But with his eclectic collection of baseball caps (never has Soho House West Hollywood paraphernalia felt so cool) and his custom Vibes-inscribed denim jacket, London made what must just be the most unexpected TC set ever (no Diptyque candles—actually, nothing made before the early ‘90s) work for him. Then again, when it comes to creating a signature aesthetic, we’re not sure we’ve ever met someone who’s quite as meticulous: hat, always; sunglasses, definitely; plus his somewhat jaw-dropping assortment of collectables, from a range of vintage pins to double-breasted blazer that belonged to pop’s original aesthetic pioneer, Andy Warhol. We guess it kind of makes sense that Theophilus would vibe (see what we did there?) with fellow perfectionists like Karl Lagerfeld (who shot the musician’s Vibes album art—yup, that happened) and Kanye West (have you heard “All Day” yet?!).

“I’ve never been seen without a hat on, ever,” he promised us, which, TBH, probably isn’t the hardest thing when you consider that fact that he’s amassed a collection of over 1,000. And, yes, he totally had one on the whole time we were together. We’d like to amend our opening statement: there’s nothing like chilling at a Los Angeles studio with a hip-hop star who’s as fashion-obsessed as we are.