In what is indisputably the most on-brand collaboration debuting this New York Fashion Week (even more than Hood by Air x Pornhub, I'd argue), Rachel Antonoff has designed a collection inspired by the Archie Comics characters Betty and Veronica.
When we first heard this news, we said, "AAH-OOGAAAAAAA!" and assumed it was an idea Antonoff came up with on her own, because it just makes so much sense. But as it turns out, Archie Comics approached her. "They actually emailed me through LinkedIn, which is fun because I feel like I never check that," Antonoff told Fashionista a few days ahead of her show taking place Tuesday evening. "We met with their representatives that day because I remember thinking, 'We've got to get on this, this is so exciting, I don’t want this to go away.' And the ball just started rolling." The ongoing collection will debut with a small holiday capsule to be sold in November with the full collection hitting Bettyandveronica.com and select retailers (TBD as the line is just now going to market) next spring. Icoincides with the upcoming CW show "Riverdale," a live-action, darker-sounding Archie-inspired series set to air early next year.
On Tuesday she'll unveil the collection with a special performance. "It's a theatrical experience that's going to be pretty immersive and all I'll say is that anyone attending will feel like they are right there in the comic," she explained. Other than that, she was tight on details; but given some of her past fashion week endeavors — from a murder mystery to a science fair to a live dance performance — we're certain it will be entertaining and likely incorporate some of her famous friends and relatives.
As for the clothes themselves, which Antonoff has been teasing on social media over the past week, the designer took an (unsurprisingly) cheeky, nostalgic approach: "What we wanted to do was find a really good balance between things we think that they would wear now and then also things that reflect them literally." That includes prints that incorporate the characters' faces, prints that feature the comic and even "a kissing sounds print, because they have so many different sound words." Oh, the sound words.
The designer also saw this as her opportunity to make her requisite first foray into activewear: "It was a great time to do track and field and athletic stuff because they were really into that, and that's on-trend."
But more broadly, Antonoff — who proudly and frequently incorporates pro-female messaging into her designs and branding — was conscious of taking a more feminist view of Betty and Veronica. "We wanted to play on their friendship and highlight the fact they were really supportive of one another, even though the narrative is that they're chasing a guy." All the while, their #aesthetic is undeniably worth a closer look. So after a year spent working on this collaboration, we asked Antonoff to list her top five Betty & Veronica looks. Prep yourself for some intense nostalgia and see them, with Antonoff's commentary, below.
"Love the pairing of a beret and judgement."
"The cheerleader I always wanted to be."
"I've always wanted to dress like this everyday and keep forgetting."