Doja Cat is on her way to being a certified Fashion Person ™. Since the singer/songwriter (nee Amala Ratna Zandile Dlamini) began working with her stylist-slash-creative director Brett Alan Nelson for her BET Awards appearance two years ago, the two have been solidifying Doja Cat as someone to, quite literally, watch but as Nelson told GRAZIA the best has yet to come. “The creative synergy that she and I have is so magical.”
“This video came up very quickly,” Nelson said of Doja Cat’s highly-anticipated music video “Streets, released on Tuesday. “The song “Streets” came out on the Hot Pink album that was released over a year ago but because of TikTok” — the song is featured in the silhouette challenge — “it catapulted.” Her label pushed for a video and Nelson pulled looks together in four days. “I didn’t have time to mood board, unfortunately,” he said. “My relationship with Amala is very strong. Like, my whole career. I’ve worked with a bunch of different girls (he’s worked with Nicki Minaj — a major plus for Doja Cat, who is a big rap of the Pink Friday rapper), but I’ve never connected with one like I do her. And I understand her sometimes more than she understands herself.”
In the beginning of their relationship, Nelson says he would send Doja ideas. “When I met her, she didn’t have a lot of money. The outfit she’s wearing in the now-incredibly viral music video “Mooo!” Nelson said came from Amazon. “Since she and I have been working together, and also her boyfriend, music producer Ari or, Y2K, so between the both of us, her eyes have opened up a lot to the fashion and art world,” Nelson said. “She’ll do anything and that’s the one thing that I’m so obsessed with, with her, is that she is not afraid to take a risk. She doesn’t care if the reaction is weird.”
Nelson made some sketches of ideas he had for the “Streets” video and Doja approved them right away. “The video treatment was so special. Christian Breslauer is a really amazing director. And he was like, I wanna shoot a movie for “Streets.” He and Nelson chatted through some visuals, both agreeing that it was necessary to give a nod to the silhouette challenge. The video opens with Doja Cat posing mannequin-like in a Christian Siriano dress. “I wanted the most outlandish silhouette that we possibly could. I wanted something, that the moment that red light hit, it was a complete change.”
Now as for that Mugler look she wears climbing into her spider web (oh, hai Kofi Siriboe), Nelson thanks Mugler’s relatively new creative director, Casey Cadwallader for posting teaser images from the fashion house’s latest collection on Instagram. “They wanted to send something that people have already worn but I’m like you guys don’t understand how big this video is going to be,” Nelson shared. “I need something that no one has ever worn. There was so much back and forth but they are so happy now.”
Nelson says it’s really hard to pick a favourite look that Doja Cat has worn because every time they work together, it becomes his new favourite. “I think that’s the one thing that keeps things exciting for us. I strive for that. I always want to one up myself.” For example, he says he can’t choose a favourite from the “Streets” music video because what he did for the Grammys is now his favourite.
“There is a designer that I have been obsessed with since I was very young and I have been dreaming of making a huge moment happen with Doja and not only is it happening for the Grammys, it’s also happening for her album packaging, and I’m still pinching myself that this designer was able to do custom for us. They went so deep in their archives that they were pulling pieces out of museums for us.”
While we will have to wait until Sunday, March 14, to see Nelson’s new favourite look when Doja Cat performs, you can get into the “Streets” video below.