How the Beefy G-Shock Became a Celeb Favorite

Collaborating with G-Shock was, or maybe still is, a rite-of-passage for many streetwear brands. Over the years—deep breath!—Stussy, The Hundreds, CLOT, A$AP Ferg, Pigalle, Medicom Toys, Beams, Neighborhood, Staple, Burton Snowboards, ALIFE, Takashi Murakami, Nigo, Brain Dead, Maharishi, Bodega, X-Large, Asics, and Jordan Brand have all collaborated with G-Shock. Through collaborating with essentially every brand and artist to ever be shouted-out in a rap song, G-Shock fused itself with streetwear culture.

Usher and Justin Bieber; G-Shock Classic and G-Lide

Getty Images; Courtesy of Casio

Usher’s Casio G-Shock DW6900CS-7 and Justin Bieber’s Casio G-Shock GLX5600-4

Here, joyfully, are Usher and a still baby-faced Bieber on the red carpet for Nickelodeon’s Kids’ Choice Award, proudly showing off their G-Shocks. Look at how happy they are! It’s not hard to see why the G-Shocks became celebrity and red carpet darlings in the late 2000s: they are massive. Just like the biggest, most desired designer logos on the planet, the G-Shock is not exactly a subtle signifier. Style in the pre-recession 2000s was all about garish maximalism, and no watch gripped that moment quite like the candy-colored G-Shocks. Recent years have seen the rise of much-pricier quote-unquote “timeless” watches, but G-Shocks delivered as unmistakable fashion items. Also: when was the last time you saw an affordable red-carpet watch? Bieber’s is the more expensive of the two here and it retailed for… a whopping $99 bucks. Usher’s cost $89.

Rihanna; Baby-G CasioCourtesy of The Island Def Jam Music Group / Casio

Rihanna’s Casio G-Shock Baby-G bracelet

The list of history’s greatest fashion innovations might include Bill Bowerman’s waffle-iron sneakers, stretchy jeans…and Rihanna’s Baby-G G-Shock necklace. Rihanna’s “Rude Boy” video wasa huge moment for G-Shock: one of the world’s greatest fashion plates wore at least six Baby-Gs linked together—and the background of the video was literally a colorful pop-art collage of the watches. If the whole thing was meant to hypnotize the viewers to go out and buy G-Shocks, mission accomplished. Those little Baby-Gs were first made in 1994—they capitalized on the puffed-up shape of the G-Shock, but made them in a rainbow of colors that would come to define the line as a whole.

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