Sometimes, before their couture even sees the light of day, fashion designers already have music phenoms working on the sounds that will accompany their catwalk debuts. Within such ranks, the importance of having the right sound is never underestimated, so they call on these experts to get it right.
JaKissa Taylor-Semple moved to New York for a career in public relations but decided deejaying was more her jam. Now, she not only keeps crowds moving to the music, but also appears in campaigns for brands including Gucci, NARS Cosmetics, Nordstrom, Marc Jacobs Beauty, and Farfetch. One career highlight happened in 2014, when Prince deejayed with DJ Kiss at his after-party celebrating his “Saturday Night Live” appearance. Today, fans enjoy her jams on “Good Morning America” when she appears as the Special Guest DJ.
Salvatore Ferragamo, Diane von Furstenberg, Tiffany & Co., Alexander Wang, Armani, Coach
She is known for her clever mixes of indie tracks woven within familiar sing-along tunes.
Michael Jackson, Beyoncé, Rick Ross, M.I.A., Drake, Rihanna, Mark Ronson
In 1978, Gaubert worked as a buyer at an independent record store that Karl Lagerfeld frequented. The designer eventually asked Gaubert if he would want to do the music for his shows. After producing his own sounds, Gaubert also began playing at a Parisian hotspot popular with Thierry Mugler, Claude Montana, and Kenzo Takada. In the early 1990s, Gaubert and Lagerfeld worked on the sound for the latter’s namesake label before the designer went to work for CHANEL and Fendi.
Dior, Valentino, Loewe, Fendi, Proenza Schouler, Balenciaga, Raf Simons, Gucci, Karl Lagerfeld
Gaubert once claimed to have recorded an autopsy and sampled it for a runway soundtrack. He also spent 48 hours recording water drops.
Diana Ross, FKA twigs, Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, Kraftwerk, Björk
In 1988, fashion designer Martin Margiela invited Sanchez to design the music for his first fashion show. Today Sanchez creates identities and styles, sound environments, and installations and compositions in galleries, museums, and public spaces. He also generates soundtracks for retail stores, websites, and on-hold music, and he created the ringtone for the Prada LG phone.
Calvin Klein, Comme des Garçons, Erdem, Helmut Lang, Hermès, Jean Paul Gaultier, Jil Sander, Marc Jacobs, Prada, Roberto Cavalli, Acne Studios, Balmain, Max Mara, Moncler, Dior
For the Margiela show, Sanchez did the job using a reel-to-reel tape machine. And for a 2019 Prada show, he blended unofficial live recordings from New Order and Richard Wagner.
Johnny Cash, Jane Birkin, John Cale, Scott Walker, This Mortal Coil
In 1995, at the age of 16, Benji B began producing a radio program and eventually became a BBC Radio producer and presenter. For more than a decade he has had a weekly show on BBC Radio 1. American fashion designer and entrepreneur Virgil Abloh hired Benji B into the role of Louis Vuitton music director and the two worked together until the designer’s death last year.
Louis Vuitton, CELINE, Cerruti 1881, Bethany Williams
Once, at a time when he collaborated closely with Phoebe Philo during her time at CELINE, he experimented with the ambient street sounds of Paris and time-delayed speakers.
Nas, Skiifall, Gunna, Frank Ocean, Nightmares on Wax, Bodysnatcher
Gou studied at the London College of Fashion as a teen, but after learning to DJ in 2009, she started gigging in clubs and eventually teamed up with Virgil Abloh for an Off-White fashion show. In 2018, Off-White’s fashion production group helped her launch her own fashion label, Kirin (“giraffe” in Korean).
Off-White, Louis Vuitton, Revlon, Nike, Lacoste, Ray-Ban
Cutting-edge dance and electronic music are her go-to sounds, though her own songs always cause great fervor. (Gou even does vocals in Korean for her track, “Han Jan.”)
Hiver, Daphni, Aphex Twin, Third World, Steve Poindexter