Welcome to our column, "Hey, Quick Question," where we investigate seemingly random happenings in the fashion industry. Enjoy!
Three's a trend and so we're calling this one out right now: Fashion is having some daddy issues — or at least will be by the time fall rolls around. During London Fashion Week, Henry Holland opened his runway show with a look that was emblazoned with the word "Daddy" for a collection titled "Daddy, Where's My Car?" On Monday night, Kim Kardashian took to Snapchat to show off a mysterious pair of velour pants with "Daddy" in crystals and someone yelling "Damn, daddy!" in the background, which was more of a play on the viral video "Damn, Daniel," but also a hint at how fashion loves to stay relevant with a good pop culture reference.
In New York, Rachel Antonoff debuted her fall 2017 collection with two "Daddy"-adorned pieces, a T-shirt and a pair of velour shorts. "The word has just always struck me kind of funny," explained Antonoff over email. "I've been wanting to do a shirt for a while now that reads 'No more daddy daughter dance' but the idea wasn't really landing in the office, so we decided to just do 'daddy.'" We'd like to say she made a profitable decision on that one.
In layman's terms, "daddy" is a nickname for dad, but also a "'70s-era porn cliche" with sexual undertones and a word that Veruca Salt often screams. Variations include "Sugar Daddy," "Baby Daddy" and "Puff Daddy," which exclusively applies to one Sean "Diddy" Combs. For those who have ever stepped foot into the world of social media, "daddy" is generally a term of endearment across Twitter and Instagram, usually for a good-looking famous dude who may or may not have children. According to GQ, the most "Daddy" of them all is Zayn Malik, or in daddy-speak, "Zaddy," followed by Drake and Justin Bieber. New York Magazine best describes its etymology: "What 'daddy' signifies in the 2010s is forever morphing and expanding, from parenthood to a way to express sexual deviance to sex work to gay slang to meme." A meme so mind-bogglingly popular that even the Washington Post felt the need to write up an explainer on it.
But, like every other ominous trend right now, Vetements jumped on it well before Holland and Antonoff, adorning dad caps with the phrase "Big Daddy" that have already sold out among retailers. But even before that there was also Adam Sandler's 1999 comedy classic called "Big Daddy," starring twins Dylan and Cole Sprouse. Who, by the way, can both be referred to as Daddy. I mean, have you even seen Cole lately? And Dylan, well, he's opening a meadery in Brooklyn this spring. Do you even know what a meadery is? Neither do I, but it's something with honey and water and fermentation, which turns into alcohol, so like, literal Sugar Daddy.
Okay, we're getting a little off-track here, but that's the thing about Daddy. It gets you into a weird, foggy stupor where the only physical response you can give is to blurt out (or type out) D-A-D-D-Y. Now the evolution continues through fashion: You can wear it on a T-shirt, on a hat, or bedazzled on your butt.