Doechii is on a meteoric rise right now. On Tuesday evening she attended her second MTV Video Music Awards. Last night provided the multi-hyphenate a moment to reflect on all of the success she’s acquired so far in her career as a breakout female rap star. It also gives her a moment to play dress up which she loves, and execute a style moment that further pushes the boundaries of fashion. “I just want to have fun,” she shared ahead of the momentous evening hosted at Newark, New Jersey’s Prudential Center over a FaceTime call. “I [also] want to have a blast on the red carpet, serve a look, and have a glass of champagne.”
Originally from Tampa, Florida, the artist recalls growing up with an affinity for style, she also says her relationship with fashion started off very early. “In order to be socially accepted you had to know how to dress, at least in my city,” Doechii said. Because she always coveted unique items like Air Jordan sneakers that were hard to come by, she fondly remembers accompanying her mother on trips to Orlando and Georgia to acquire the latest shoe releases. “I always wanted everything nobody had, and I wanted it first.” This notion is a consistent theme that also shows up in how she is currently enamored with brands like Fanci Club, Gucci, and Blumarine.
Doechii brings a level of excitement to fashion that is admirable to watch from afar. She says she’d describe her style choices as “eclectic,” and refers to herself as a “chameleon” who can wear anything. Here enters the ravishing and risqué Dsquared2 Fall/Winter 2023 runway look she wore to the VMA’s with Stuart Weitzman heels—it’s an immaculately designed V-neck see-through gown featuring a crystal-studded design. Recently she sent the look to her stylist Sam Woolf and declared this was her top choice for the ceremony. Woolf says over a call that he immediately prioritized the look. Doechii expresses that this brand has a hint of “preppy” but also “trashy” which aligns with her vision of how she’d like to be portrayed at times. “I like DSquared because they put together all of the things that I love about fashion. I feel like I scratch every itch with [them],” she said.
The “Swamp Princess” and Woolf have been working together since March after he styled her in a Moschino dress for Billboard’s Women In Music Awards. Their collaborative relationship has significantly enhanced Doechii’s image, as he has incorporated a touch of edginess that was already present in her outfits. Many of their joint creations also boast a subtle vintage flair—she has worn Caroline Reznik, Moschino, Dion Lee, and more since they began their creative partnership. “Doechii will send me references and we’ll discuss ideas and I’ll send references back,” Woolf said. “She’s very good at giving feedback and constructive notes. We create different mood boards, and put together different personalities and characters for her.”
Sonically, Doechii is just as experimental—notably after becoming a female signee of Top Dawg Entertainment, she dropped the EP she/ her/ that bitch a moody and succinct five-track project. She tells me that things still feel ultra-fast and new for her still. “Being a part of a legacy label feels amazing,” she said. “There’s this pressure to be great, which is a pressure that I’ve always welcomed in my life.” She also mentions that she released she/ her/ that bitch to feed her fans. “It wasn’t a super conceptual project, it was just about demand,” she said. Before this project, the artist was rising swiftly in the mainstream music conversation due to her singles “Persuasive” and “Crazy.” The former is a ballroom dance bop–while the latter is a hard-hitting and ferocious rap song in which she displays her fiery wordplay. These tracks might have catapulted her, but her grit and her efforts in the local Tampa music scene also give her an appeal that feels homegrown and authentic.
With her city on her back, Doechii has gone from performing in the local circuit to the stage of last year’s BET Awards and has attended the Grammys. What’s most compelling about the entertainer is that she has a concise understanding of packaging, style, and the fact that she is experiencing an unparalleled moment as a woman in rap. While fans feel her music is distinct and memorable, she says that she hasn’t even hit the peak of what she is capable of. “Now that I have had a lot more time to record an album, the project that I’m working on now is so much bigger and better than that because it’s so much more intentional,” Doechii added.
The Tampa-bred artist catches some light from golden hour before changing.
The ethereal beat by Los Angeles-based artist Dee.
An assortment of jewelry, she opted for pieces by STÉFÈRE.
A closer look at the jewel encrusted Dsquared2 gown Doechii wore.
Hair stylist Malcolm Marquez and stylist Sam Woolf provide some finishing touches.
Doechii’s team ensures her beat will stay intact during the MTV VMA’s.
Another angle of the stunning Fall/Winter 2023 DSquared2 gown.
The exquisite accessories pair well with the head-turning gown she’s wearing.
The brand’s trucker hat offers a hint of red to Doechii’s high fashion look.
Doechii poses moments before she hits the MTV VMA’s red carpet.
Doechii and her team make their way to the hotel’s exit.
Stylist Sam Woolf assists Doechii with her lengthy gown.
One last look before Doechii and her team hit the red carpet at the MTV VMA’s.
Images courtesy: Makeda Sandford