Annnnd that was this past Saturday as a bunch of models follow rapper Tyga out onto the runway - all of them in bedazzled Kobe jerseys, but with German designer Philipp Plein's name on them instead - as they circle around... golden helicopters?
For some quick background on the brand before we go further... Imagine the gaudiest Ed Hardy jeans you've ever seen. Now imagine they had a baby with an Affliction shirt. Now imagine that Ed Hardy Affliction baby grew up & married Paris Hilton's sparkliest 2000's wardrobe and they had a baby. Now imagine that Ed Hardy Affliction Paris Hilton 2000s Sparkle Baby hooked up with a Diesel/Von Dutch hybrid and they had a baby. Then imagine that Ed Hardy Affliction Paris Hilton 2000s Sparkly Diesel Von Dutch baby got super into hip hop culture and European fuck bois with their parent's money absorbed it like a sponge. This is my interpretation of Philipp Plein clothing.
Here's a few examples:
At the same time, I type this while wearing an old flannel shirt, hat over unbrushed hair, Converse shoes with holes in the heels, and discount Kohls jeans… so there is a chance I simply do not understand the fashion industry in any way and am misinterpreting this. I mean, celebs like Olivia Culpo, Missy Elliot and Jada Pinkett Smith were there rocking the jerseys and I feel like they might have a better grasp on style & messaging than me? Maybe?
And according to a statement Plein gave to PageSix:
“The catwalk setup was already planned and designed in November 2019, way before this tragic accident occurred,” he wrote. “This is the reason why they [sic] were gilded helicopters on the runway. I would have clearly removed them if possible, but it was too late to replace them.”
The designer also said that profits from his “Plein 24” capsule collection dedicated to Bryant, which includes a $3,150 hoodie and a $2,070 tank top, will be donated to the athlete’s Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation. Plein added that the “first $20,000” was transferred to the foundation the day before the show; Page Six Style has reached out to the organization to verify this.
“This tragedy affected myself and all the world deeply and I feel that my fashion show have [sic] been the best moment to express my respect and admiration for Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and his family,” the statement continued.
“It is sad to see how something positive and constructive can be misinterpreted by people who obviously want to interpret negatively without even having a reason.
Uhhh… I still think there's room for negativity & more than a few reasons, Phil. Since the helicopters were planned so far in advance I find it weird they couldn't just say, "Eh, you know what? Let's use them another time in another context. It's been less than a month and there's an obvious connection here that could be painful & extremely tacky." And putting YOUR name on Kobe's jersey in Swarovski crystals as the main front feature? Get outta here.
The donations are great, and I know alot of times the road to Hell can be paved with good intentions, but as an often hyper-self-aware person myself I still have to tug on my normie bitcc flannel collar and let out a heartfelt & awkward, "Ah-YIKES! Maybe don't!"
In these cases I always wonder - Is there no one in their circle to say, "Hey, wait a sec… could this maybe be a bad look?? Or a little insensitive knowing there's a grieving family and 9 people died including children and this is very soon??". Who knows. I think Jeff Ross summed it up best. Just switch out 'murals' for 'tributes'.