Chrome Hearts’ Journey From LA Secret to Global Giant
How the brand went from the Sex Pistols to the Rolling Stones to Drake.
The 2010s saw American brands jump to the forefront of style like never before. While there’s always been a few names scattered across the fashion landscape—from Ralph Lauren and Donna Karan to Marc Jacobs and Tom Ford—a genuine constellation of American fashion designers, brands and labels have ascended to mainstream attention in just the last few years, often in concert with one another. Some of them rose to prominence through their proximity to burgeoning movements in rap and hip-hop, particularly Supreme and Hood By Air. Others rose through their association with Kanye West and Virgil Abloh (Heron Preston and Matthew Williams, among others).
In the midst of this sea change, however, another American label has erupted into a worldwide phenomenon. Only the thing is, it’s been around for decades: Chrome Hearts. Though the brand quietly carved a lane for itself in the past 30 years, the family-run label acquired a whole new salience in the 2010s by dint of association with the New American Guard.
As Chrome Hearts continues to assert its influential point of view, we take a closer look at the label’s journey, charting its rise from LA’s best-kept style secret to global domination.