With the opioid crisis in America, drugs seem to be an overriding topic of conversation among lawmakers and the public these days. And the fashion industry is no exception.
Raf Simons based his entire fall men’s collection on “Christiane F.,” a 1981 film that “depicts the realities of drug use and addiction,” according to his show notes. His line used a series of color-coded patches with letters that spoke to the “abbreviated names of narcotic substances: LSD, XTC, GHB and 2C-B.” In case the message was too obscure, a couple of deconstructed hoodies with “DRUGS” across the front in big, block letters drove home the point.
As the show notes for his Youth in Motion collection detailed: “Ultimately, ‘Youth In Motion’ seeks to neither glorify nor condone the culture(s) of drugs; rather Simons seeks instead to consider the persistent, almost ubiquitous presence of narcotics (prescribed or otherwise) within our society and acknowledge our often conflicted relationships with them.”
But a couple of other brands had unplanned marijuana moments during their shows at New York Fashion Week: Men’s.
At the Death to Tennis show on Wednesday afternoon at Pier 59, a rapper named Smokepurpp seated in the front row lit up a joint while models were walking down the runway.
The smell and the smoke prompted a beefy security guard from the venue to approach him and tell him to put it out in no uncertain terms. Noticeably unhappy about it, Smokepurpp did snuff it out, but then his equally beefy bodyguard went chest to chest with the security guard. Although the altercation didn’t last long, show attendees were clearly distracted by this spectacle and undoubtedly missed a few pieces walking down the runway.
The brand had no comment other than to say: “It was juvenile and not a part of the brand aesthetic.”
Later that evening, Grungy Gentleman had a similar experience. Its show at an event space in SoHo featured an array of real people walking the runway including NFL players such as Darrelle Revis with which the brand has a capsule collection. One of the models was rapper Don Zio P, who lit up a joint and gleefully smoked it during his turn on the runway.
“I am absolutely appalled by the behavior of the model who walked in my show and completely, without my knowledge, took part in smoking marijuana on my runway,” said Jace Lipstein, designer and founder of the athletically skewed brand. “I work hard to collaborate with talent from outside industries like musicians and athletes, and I feel extremely disrespected by Don’s lack of respect and commitment towards my brand. I do not condone any type of drug use at, or during, any of my runway shows, and I am taking steps to make sure that outside talent, such as this musician, will never be associated with the Grungy Gentleman brand again.”
A follow-up call from Kevin, who declined to provide a last name but identified himself as Don Zio P’s manager, took responsibility for the incident and said he was “not proud of the situation.”