This time last year, VFiles snagged its usual spot kicking off New York Fashion Week, though the young designers the showcase usually shines a light on—past breakthroughs have included brands like Gypsy Sport—were pretty much all but forgotten when the rapper Young Thug took his responsibility as a VFiles mentor so seriously, he stood up to stop a model mid-runway and fix his collar, all while smoking what appeared to be a blunt.
And while there were of course some changes this year—the designers showcased were Louis Pileggi, Christian Stone, Jun Jie, and INXX, and the show shifted to Brooklyn, in the basement of the Barclays Center—it was once again unmistakably a blunt that stole the show on Wednesday night. Deep in the depths of the stadium, which had been filled with bright yellow folding chairs, an hour after things were set to begin, a grated garage door finally rolled up, an engine revved, and a bright yellow Lamborghini pulled up to the center of the runway, from which stepped Offset, one third of Migos.
Offset had been set to roll out of the car—and perform—with Cardi B, whom he has a song with (and is reportedly dating), but surprisingly, she was nowhere to be found. Apparently undeterred by—or looking to distract himself from—her absence—he instead hopped out, pulled out a blunt and filled the basement of Barclays with the scent of marijuana, staying decidedly silent and hiding himself in a cloud of smoke as "Bad and Boujee" by Migos played overhead. After once again lighting the blunt on fire, he began circling the Lambo and taking in the crowd, greeting friends and front-rowers like Joey Bada$$.
It wasn't long, though, before he took a seat like the rest to take in the show and allow the models to circle his ride: Cardi B, you see, was hardly the only one who didn't end up showing. Khloé Kardashian, this year's star mentor, also didn't show face—perhaps taking a break from the public eye, having published an essay earlier in the day about how she and her sister Kourtney were reluctant to ever put their life on TV, and that she wished she had never filmed "things like Kim’s robbery or Caitlyn’s transition." (However, she did manage to plug her denim brand with her co-designer and fellow VFiles mentor Emma Grede when she retweeted from a video from VFiles in which she lauded the young designers for also daring to knock down barriers, like she did when she designed jeans outside of a "normal size range.")
In fact, everyone on Fashion Week's debut evening seemed to be taking a note from Dapper Dan, the designer who has been decades ahead of everyone in many senses, and is still wielding his influence, like when he joined the VFiles mentor panel, too—not that he would talk about any of that, having signed a nondisclosure agreement, perhaps owing to whatever collaboration he's got in the works with Gucci after the label paid "homage" to his designs earlier this year. Instead, Dan let the designs speak for themselves—which, lucky for him, given that many took the form of knit neon green ponchos, floor-length fur coats, and dildo necklaces, they definitely did.
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