Diplo, né Thomas Wesley Pentz, arrived to the annual amfAR Fashion Week Gala in New York on Wednesday night in something of a daze. “I just landed. I don’t even know what time it is,” he said. He also didn’t know where he flew in from. “From New York—wait no,” he said, then looked around to take in his surroundings. (We were on Wall Street, just outside of Cipriani.) “I don’t even remember. I was in Miami for the Super Bowl and then I went to L.A. Where are we right now? Are we in London? I don’t know.”
Diplo was one of just many guests who turned out to show their support—and raise what ended up being $1.4 million—for amfAR’s research programs in fighting AIDS. But, as usual, Diplo stood apart: He was the only person in attendance wearing a cowboy hat. It was white, just like the rest of the look that he later described on Instagram as “hypebeast Colonel Sanders.” Disoriented as he was from the travel, rest assured: Diplo still had enough of his wits about him to make sure he matched.
“I usually bring three of them, and they’re all different. This time I also brought a brown one, a black one, and a lighter one that’s made out of corn because I’m going to India tomorrow,” he said of his headwear. Alas, sticking to the Yeehaw Agenda isn’t easy for a jetsetter: “It’s so hard to travel with them. You have to put them in hat boxes, and [airports] make them come out of the weirdly shaped box area, like with the golf clubs and surfboards. It kind of sucks—I never know where they land.”
The aforementioned hats are just a fraction of Diplo’s extensive collection. “I have, like, a hundred now,” he said. “They’re not that expensive—cowboy hats are, like, $100. And there are so many good hatmakers now, like Nick Fouquet.” He buys them online, or at Boot Barn. Or “someone makes them for me. People are like, ‘Yo, You’re the guy to give the hat to,’ so I’m down. I’ve got a Louis Vuitton hat, a Dior hat, a Gucci hat—I’ve got some crazy high fashion hats.”
It was almost time to go inside, where Charlie Puth and Sofi Tukker would soon perform and amfAR would honor Iman, the playwright Matthew Lopez, and Pace Gallery’s Marc Glimcher for their commitment to fighting AIDS. But first, Diplo deigned to answer this reporter’s burning question: What does he think of Elon Musk’s EDM music?
“Did he make a song? I saw a picture of him doing something, but I didn’t hear the song,” Diplo said. “I mean, my record label released some music from Grimes, so I know that she’s very capable of producing. Maybe she’s showing him how to do it.”