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There’s a war waging, and it’s time to pick what side you’re on. GQ Style’s Noah Johnson interviewed menswear bae and Calvin Klein designer Raf Simons and asked the designer how he feels about some of his acolytes, namely Gosha Rubchinskiy, Vetements’ Demna Gvasalia, and, most important for our purposes, Off-White’s Virgil Abloh. Simons responded as democratically as one can while still dragging someone:
Are there any young designers today that inspire or excite you?
Anyone in particular?
Not Off-White. He’s a sweet guy. I like him a lot actually. But I’m inspired by people who bring something that I think has not been seen, that is original.
So that answer, for those keeping score at home, is that Raf is not inspired or excited by Abloh but at least thinks he’s a sweet guy. Basically, Raf gave him the aw, you’re sweet line that people say when they have no interest in dating the other person. Hey, Abloh, Raf’s seen the collection inspired by his Nebraska collection but it’s gonna be a no for him, dawg.
BUT THEN, A$AP Rocky, friend to Abloh and fan of Simons, weighed in and took a side I, personally, was not at all expecting. In a now-deleted tweet, Rocky wrote: “OFF WHITE DEFENSE SQUAD !!! FAK U MEAN, WHEN I SEE RAF IMMA HAVE A COUPLE WORDS 4 HIM”
While that tweet is gone, Rocky has kept up another supporting Abloh.
OFF WHITE ALL YEAR!— LORD FLACKO JODYE II (@asvpxrocky) January 27, 2017
He’s also been retweeting people who have joined the “Off-White defense squad.”
I guess I understand that Rocky and Abloh are friends, but Rocky seems like exactly the type of elitist — previously rapping takedowns on brands like Hood By Air and Been Trill, which coincidentally enough is a brand Abloh was previously involved with — that would side with Raf. Rocky’s said he thinks the Off-White women’s line is “actually dope,” though.
Here’s where the plot thickens even more, even if this might be a stretch. Rocky told Yahoo in November of 2015 that he was “a little hurt to see Raf go somewhere if I don’t know where he’s going.” He’s probably not still hurt from that, but I’m just giving you all the facts.
It will be interesting to see where the rest of this weird fashion clique lands on this. Kanye will definitely side with his creative director, Abloh. Raf has his BFF Miuccia Prada. This could be the best Celebrity Boxing Match of all time.
In his latest tweet, Rocky later clarified his stance and said he feels bad for Virgil.
RAF IS OUR FASHION GOD , THE WHOLE GAME BITES HIM , I BARELY WEAR OFF WHITE BUT I FEEL BAD FOR VIRGIL , I HOPE THIS INSPIRES HIM 2 TURN UP!— LORD FLACKO JODYE II (@asvpxrocky) January 27, 2017
This is really the right stance from Rocky. Abloh is clearly one of Simons’s most devout followers so I can’t imagine it was easy for the Off-White designer to read what he thought about his work. Simons is in a totally different league than Abloh when it comes to designing, but I guess he simply answered the question that was thrown to him.