DJ Khaled Becomes 2023’s Most Unlikely Model With Hugo Boss Runway Debut

Major key.

DJ Khaled Becomes 2023’s Most Unlikely Model With Hugo Boss Runway Debut

Another one! DJ Khaled – the rapper, producer, and inspiration for many a viral meme – has just added another title to his ever-growing list: against all the odds, he made his debut as a runway model, starring in Boss’ Spring/Summer 2023 launch alongside some of the biggest names in the industry.

The larger-than-life online personality made a name for himself producing hits for artists like Lil Wayne, Rick Ross, and T.I. Since then, he’s taken the music industry and the internet alike by storm with his iconic catchphrases and hilariously earnest, outrageous character.

With numerous studio albums, collaborations with various artists and several awards to his name, DJ Khaled has left an indelible mark on the industry and wider cultural zeitgeist, birthing countless memes with his seemingly effortless inspirational comments, mispronunciations, and all-round immaculate vibe.

We already knew that his talents extend far beyond music, appearing in films and television shows, hosting radio shows, and even writing a book – but earlier this week, he made a career debut that very few of us saw coming: as a runway model for Boss’ Spring/Summer 2023 collection.

Walking the runway in Miami alongside some of the biggest names in the industry like Naomi Campbell, Pamela Anderson, Candice Swanepoel and recently retired stylist Law Roach, Khaled made sure to bring his A-game with a stunning high-end watch alongside his Boss get-up.

Khaled cuts a surprisingly striking figure on the runway in Miami. Image: Getty

Alongside a black tuxedo, black trousers, perfectly polished shoes and an untucked resort-collar white shirt from Boss’ Spring/Summer collection – which is all themed around “being your own boss” and gender-neutral silhouettes – Khaled also wore a rather tasty timepiece, a yellow-gold Rolex Cosmograph Daytona “Eye of the Tiger”.

RELATED: Rolex’s ‘Eye Of The Tiger’ Is Their Most Luxurious Watch Ever

Clearly a favourite of Khaled’s, with the big fella having worn the piece to the Grammy’s earlier this year, a recent New Year’s Eve celebration, as well as regularly on the golf course, the watch features a black tiger-print dial set with yellow gold and diamonds, diamond hour markers, yellow-gold hands, and a bezel set with 36 trapeze-cut diamonds.

Complete with a surprisingly practical black rubber bracelet, that beautifully complements the black-and-gold dial design, the piece retails for a cool $215,000 USD or thereabouts… Dependent on haggling skills and clout levels, both of which we reckon Khaled’s well-armed with.

WATCH DJ Khaled on the catwalk for Boss below.

The runway debut sparked a slew of social media content from the brand and debut model alike. One video shows Khaled in the dressing room before hitting the runway, hyping up himself and the rest of the Boss team with characteristic verve.

“The key is to always be you, I only know how to be myself… And that’s BOSS!”, the rapper shouted into a mirror, looking back into the camera with thought-provoking intensity. “We’ve gotta always motivate and inspire people to BOSS up”, he added.

Joined by Italian internet sensation Khaby Lame and fashion legend Naomi Campbell, Kahled opened up about the resistance he’d met when trying to break into the clandestine world of high fashion.

“They said I could never walk a runway show”, he said. “Who said that?’, quips back Campbell, seemingly shocked. “They said it…”, replied Kahled, looking off into the middle distance, enigmatic as ever…

Despite his mysterious answer, Campbell was quick to encourage him, stating to the cameras that “he’s got the rhythm, and [modelling] is all about rhythm”.

DJ Khaled and Naomi Campell at the Boss Spring/Summer 2023 launch. Image: Getty

Khaled’s debut sparked some intense criticism on social media, with people calling him out for his weight, body shape, and suggesting that during the runway walk – surrounded by a backdrop of dramatic uplit waterworks and artificial rain – that the rapper “walked more than he did in the last 5 years”.

This kind of criticism is harsh and unwarranted, but in many ways plays into Boss’ message of “determination, diversity, and inclusion” that underpins the collection, believing that their “empowered cast of heroes gave a legendary display of what it means to be a BOSS”.

It’s easy to have a go at DJ Khaled but we’d actually like to applaud Boss for being open-minded about having a bigger man model their clothes for them. Size diversity is a hot issue in the fashion world right now: designers are increasingly under fire for the lack of size diversity, with ‘heroin chic’ seeming to be the order of the day for models at the moment.

Bigger men are arguably even less represented on runways than bigger women – when was the last time you didn’t see a skinny or ripped bloke walk a runway? DJ Khaled might be a walking meme, but his high fashion moment is a sign that maybe the men’s fashion world might be starting to be more inclusive of bigger men.

Love him or hate him, Kahled brims with ambition and self-confidence, and I for one can’t wait to see more of him on the runway. If it’s good news for Khaled and good news for memes, then it’s very good news for me.