J Balvin regularly scours Instagram for emerging designers and brands to collaborate with.
The Colombian reggaeton star, who is known for his vibrant and colourful style, is set to be honoured as the Style Influencer of the Year at the Footwear News Achievement Awards on Tuesday.
He recently spoke to the outlet about his passion for fashion, as well as his desire to help unknown designers who have small followings and engagement on social media platforms.
“Jose will not only curate what he wears, but he goes searching for brands. He discovers brands,” his friend, designer Mike Amiri, told Footwear News. “He goes through Instagram and looks for brands with 500 followers, 1,000 followers, or maybe it’s a kid in Ohio sewing a quilted blanket into a pair of jeans. These are the people he reaches out to.”
The Mi Gente hitmaker has worked hard on creating his own unique look without professional guidance from a stylist.
“I like to (style myself) because I’m a geek of it. I go to the past – the ’80s and ’90s – and I walk around New York and watch people’s style, the creativity,” Balvin explained. “Fashion is art, a way to express yourself, and it’s what I love to do.”
It was his quest to discover an unknown designer that led him to Amiri in 2015, and later to 424 co-founder Guillermo Andrade. Balvin was also tapped by Guess for a spring collection and campaign, and more recently collaborated with Japanese brand Bape, with a capsule line to be released on Thursday.