“B.B’s Saggin, fly like a dragon, bitches on my dick cuz I’m fly like aladdin”
Above you’ll find a bar from the colorful and currently incarcerated rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine, bringing attention to a material flex of his own from below the waistline. Whether the line was used first by rappers Yoppy and ENO during a freestyle in their youth (which it totally was) or not, it is still by far one of the most famous lines paying homage to B.B Simon’s line of Swarovski-crystal-clad belts; a high fashion accessory that hip-hop culture has been obsessed with for quite some time.
I was first introduced to designer B.B Simon and his imported European belts in the early 2000s through the various members of Harlem’s legendary Dipset collective, who assumably picked up the trend from one of the waviest people to ever exist, Max Biggavelli himself. Back then, the belts were more than likely giving a half pitched effort to hold up some of the baggiest jeans known to man, but like most fashion trends that have originated out of New York, it wasn’t long before the designer belts made their way into the True Religion jeans of Lil Wayne and the various rappers in the South.
Now for as many people who fawn over the often gaudy garments, by far the most interesting fact about Belt By Simon and its many products has to do with its marketing scheme…which doesn’t exist. Aside from its main sales website, there are zero traces of Simon Tavassoli’s creative spawn being promoted on the internet, except for a brief CNN article regarding a limited edition series of belts dedicated to the late pop icon Michael Jackson. Oddly enough, a few hours of digging through lyric databases revealed that rappers rarely even mention the belts in song.
“B.B on me so I feel Like I’m Santana” – Lil Uzi Vert
A completely different approach from B.B’s competitors in the luxury accessory game such as Gucci, Hermes, Ferragamo and more – it’s hard to pinpoint how the brand has managed to stay afloat in a market that changes with the tides. Could it be the fact that Tavassoli is involved in the creative process for every one of his items? Or maybe the fine metals, rare gemstones, and other unique and unconventional materials really do just look fire on a pair of half-sagged Amiris.
Either way, seeing as how the brand’s thirty two year reign in the game is being extended by the newer generation of artists such as Travis Scott, NBA Youngboy and Post Malone who sported a classier creation with a Union Western suit at the AMA’s; clearly Tavassoli and his team have figured out a key to success, with word of mouth (or waist) adding fuel to the fire.
You can check out B.B Simon’s worldwide site here and videos of New York’s King Of Spank lacing your favorite rappers with the new belts below.