ROUND ONE: Fisticuffs? At the trendiest boutique in Paris?
Fashion folk and music fans got more than they bargained for Thursday night when Colette hosted a double event: the launch of a limited-edition collaboration between Vlone, the brand founded by two rappers from A$AP Mob — A$AP Rocky and A$AP Bari; and a personal appearance by Virgil Abloh, creative director of Off-White, who signed copies of a book documenting his fall 2016 men’s wear show.
Smartphones switched on, young fans lined up in order to meet up with Bari, Rocky and Abloh, also capturing the arrival of the rappers Theophilus London and Ian Connor, who have been quarreling and name-calling on Twitter.
Suddenly, the bad blood boiled over on the crowded shop floor as Connor lunged at London with a punch, knocking off London’s facemask and prompting screams from startled onlookers. The two men were separated by security and Connor was ejected from the premises, only to be chased by Bari, who socked Connor in the face.
Colette management kept the store open and the party going. Sales were brisk for the books and the Vlone T-shirts and hoodies, characterized by the store as an “encounter with streetwear and luxury ready-to-wear.” Rocky was visibly upset, but Abloh took the scuffle in stride.
“They’re all brothers, so it’s basically watching a bunch of brothers fight,” he said later. “It was totally fine. I looked at it as, like, a casualty — I call it me being a camp counselor. I probably knew it was going to happen. It’s just all the energy, but it’s like them being them. But I believe you can’t just like kids when it’s good. I’m not an educator or anything like that. And it’s not about that. It’s just about leading by example.”
Separately, Abloh told WWD he’s planning to open a store in an office block in Tokyo next month, and two more within the next year, including one in Toronto.
And he lauded the young, enthusiastic turnout in Paris. “Those energetic vibes are needed in order to spur new trends.”