Pret-a-Reporter

The Hidden Fashion Message in Frank Ocean's Visual Album

AP Images/Invision
Frank Ocean

The singer devotes an entire chorus to one label.

It was a warm summer night in August of 2016 when it finally happened: After four long, grueling years, during which patient fans had all but lost hope, Frank Ocean released new music.

The singer dropped Endless, a visual album and precursor to his "proper" new album, which Rolling Stone reports is still to come this weekend. If you believe the hype on Twitter, the release is arguably the most hotly anticipated record of the past four years.

Endless is a 45-minute, black-and-white visual album that shows the 28-year-old artist building a staircase to the tune of 18 new tracks. Of the mellow tunes, however, it was "Comme des Garcons," around the 11-minute mark, that caught our attention.

Ocean repeats "Comme des Garcons" over and over throughout the chorus, leaving us with few clues as to what the mention could mean. Given his interest in the fashion industry (Ocean has attended fashion shows for Dior and Givenchy and starred in a 2013 Band of Outsiders campaign, as well as a fall 2016 Calvin Klein campaign), he could very well be referring to Rei Kawakubo's avant-garde Japanese fashion label of the same name.

Of course, the French phrase could also simply be a reference to the direct translation — "like the boys" — as the original title for the album was supposed to be Boys Don't Cry.

But considering how trendy it's become for singers to name-drop designers in their singles (ASAP Rocky, Jay Z and Kanye do so with frequency), we'd bet that the song is a reference to the fashion label. Maybe Ocean felt that name-checking Raf Simons, with whom he is quite friendly, had been overdone.

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