Just before his album release on Thursday night, Young Thug's style was all the world was talking about. Thugger shared the cover for his album No, My Name Is JEFFERY, which features the Atlanta rapper posing severely in a skirt-like garment. The piece is part of Italian designer Alessandro Trincone's “Annodami” collection. It was inspired by Japanese kimonos and trousers and seems tailor-made for the aesthetic sensibilities of Young Thug.
On Thursday night, The FADER spoke with Garfield Larmond, who shot the now-iconic cover, about how the two started working together and how Young Thug decided to wear the gender-neutral garment.
When did you first meet Young Thug?
I was doing a photoshoot in Atlanta for a client a few years ago that featured Jerrika Karlae. The shoot came out really good. She liked it so much that she introduced me to Young Thug. So, I’ve known them for some time now. Once she introduced me to him, I shot a video for “Turn Up,” which was a commercial for Jerrika’s swimwear as well as his music video. After I shot that it was just like let’s go. Let’s keep going.
How did the photoshoot for the Jeffery cover come about?
Before I got to do this photoshoot, [Young Thug] actually had another photoshoot for the cover in Atlanta when I was out of town. They got the photos back and one day we were in the studio, and he mentioned he didn’t like them. We were in the studio, actually, with Wyclef [Jean], and I was shooting some stuff for them, when he decided to make a post on Instagram explaining that the tape was delayed because of the cover artwork and all that.
Some time went by. We ended up in New York to meet up with [VFILES founder] Julie Anne Quay because Young Thug is about to be a mentor for VFILES’ fashion panel. One of the pieces that they showed during that meeting was a piece by this designer, Alessandro Trincone. So, we were just looking through the photos at the end of the shoot, and [Thug] said, “What’s that? I need it.” We didn’t expect VFILES to say they could send the piece to us, but they were like, ‘We can get the whole outfit to you in Atlanta.’
We left New York, went to L.A., got back to Atlanta, and then got the word that the piece was in. I didn’t even know we were going to have the photoshoot, but, the day of, they called me and said, ‘Hey, we need to set this shoot up now to get these photos done.”
So, using Alessandro Trincone’s piece was Young Thug’s idea?
Yeah. He saw the piece in New York, and said immediately, “I want that for the cover.” Like, there was no thought about it. He just saw it and knew he wanted it.
During the Jeffery listening party in New York tonight, Young Thug said it took him about an hour to put the piece on.
When we got on set, it definitely took like an hour and a half to put it on. Then once he put it on, and I started shooting, they noticed a piece was off — like something really intricate. So, we had to take another thirty minutes to pin stuff up, get the hat right. It took hours. Hours on top of hours.
Did he say anything about the garment during the shoot?
When he put it on, it definitely spoke for itself. Everyone knew: this is different. If you think of Young Thug, you automatically get this perception of a different sense of style. He knew it would be crazy. When I showed him the first set of photos, he was like, ‘OK. This is it. This is what we needed from the beginning.‘