Welcome to our column, "Hey, Quick Question," where we investigate seemingly random happenings in the fashion (and beauty) industry. Enjoy!
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While fashion-industry beefs may not be as widely publicized and hyped as those in the hip-hop world, they're actually pretty common. Remember when the late Oscar de la Renta took out an ad in WWD to call Cathy Horyn a "stale 3-day old hamburger" after she called the designer a "hot dog" in her review of his show? Or when Hedi Slimane penned an open letter to the same critic after she panned his Saint Laurent collection, saying, "Miss Horyn is a schoolyard bully?" Kanye West has ranted about Barneys, Fendi, Louis Vuitton, Nike, Hedi Slimane and more; most recently, Carolina Herrera very conspicuously sued Laura Kim of Monse in an attempt to keep her from working at rival fashion house Oscar de la Renta. But perhaps the most-hyped feud in some time was sparked on Friday, thanks to a new, rare GQ Style interview with Raf Simons.
Ahead of Simons's New York Fashion Week: Men's debut (which he will follow up with his men's and women's debut at Calvin Klein), Noah Johnson spoke with the Belgian designer about his move to the city, the dismal state of American politics, the pressures he feels as a high-fashion "activator" and the up-and-coming generation of talents that idolize him. Deep within the conversation, Simons admits that "the guy from Off-White" — whom he never addresses by name — neither excites nor inspires him, though he's a "sweet guy." The shade, Raf!
Simons continues: "I'm inspired by people who bring something that I think has not been seen, that is original. It's not always about being new-new because who is new-new?" This comment was presumed to be directed at Abloh, and the spark that ignited a frenzy on Twitter. First, known Raf stan A$AP Rocky came out in support of Abloh:
In some since-deleted tweets from Jan. 27, Rocky also exclaimed "OFF WHITE ALL YEAR," and "OFF WHITE DEFENSE SQUAD !!! FAK U MEAN, WHEN I SEE RAF IMMA HAVE A COUPLE WORDS 4 HIM." But, in a move that suggests that he's playing both sides, the rapper and current face of Dior Homme posted a snippet of a new song called "Please Don't Touch My Raf."
Next, Abloh himself took a dig at Simons — a designer he's openly "obsessed" with — announcing that the upcoming fall 2017 women's ready-to-wear collection he plans to show in Paris would be called "Nothing New." Yikes.
It's anyone's guess whether this feud will progress as a slow burn between Simons and Abloh, or if Rocky's involvement is the spark that will cause it to explode, but you better believe we'll have our eyes peeled on Simons's front row at NYFW:M on Feb. 1.
Update, Mon., May 15, 8:40 a.m.: After nearly three-and-a-half months, "Raf" in its entirety is finally here. The rapper dropped the track on Frank Ocean's "Blonded" radio show for Apple Music's Beats 1 on Sunday night, which also features singer Ocean along with Lil Uzi Vert and Quavo of Migos. The songs lyrics definitely have high praises for Simons, but we couldn't help but notice Rocky saying "Alessandro Gucci glasses," which, we'd like to think is the Italian creative director's first-ever hip-hop shout out. You can listen to "Raf" in the video below.