Fans Apparently Started a Straight-Up Riot Outside Off-White’s Paris Fashion Week Show

The well-earned hype that continues to build around Off-White caused a straight-up riot in Paris Thursday.

The Hollywood Reporter described the vibe as “a mosh pit of terrifying pushing, screaming, and even some punching.” Fashionista added that police officers were shouting instructions in French and “forcefully pushing ticket holders out of the street to allow cars to pass.” All this would-be punk rockery went down outside the Paris Fashion Week show for Virgil Abloh's brand, which some have said was unfortunately overshadowed by what were most likely fans trying to sneakily enter the show off Rue Cambon.

As for the scene inside, Bella Hadid opened the show, titled West Village.

 

A post shared by Off-White™ (@off____white) on Mar 1, 2018 at 12:24pm PST

At the time of this writing, Abloh had not publicly commented on the riot reports other than to tell Women's Wear Daily backstage that he was “only just learning about it now.”

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Last month, Abloh dropped the NO TEXT-directed Off-White documentary TEMPERATURE. The 54-minute film gives fans an intimate look at the creative process behind the brand's Spring/Summer 2018 presentations.

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A Recap of New York Fashion Week Spring 2018

After a week of some of the biggest brands, designers, and celebrities all showing out for New York Fashion Week Spring 2018, it's now time to take a look back at some highlights. During a time when many people are questioning the importance of New York Fashion Week in comparison to its European counterparts, designers delivered some signature moments to lighten the discrediting of the festivities, even if only briefly. Brands like Helmut Lang, Opening Ceremony, Kith, Fenty Puma by Rihanna, and Alexander Wang all brought their own signature aesthetic to their respective shows. Here is a recap of some of the most entertaining shows from New York Fashion Week.

Some of the biggest celebrity cameos of the week came at Ronnie Fieg's Kith Sport show. The designer's second fashion show took place on Thursday night at the Classic Car Club Manhattan, where he showed off upcoming collections with brands like Moncler, Adidas Soccer, Champion, Iceberg, and Nike. Virgil Abloh, Scott Disick, and Carmelo Anthony were among the crowd, but two of the most memorable guests appeared on the runway. First, NBA Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen walked down the catwalk sporting pieces from Fieg's upcoming Nike collaboration. If that wasn't enough, Fieg decided to close out the show by putting a spotlight (literally) onto arguably the best basketball player in the world, LeBron James, who lip-synched the lyrics to Kanye West and Jay Z's “H.A.M.” 

Kith Spring/Summer 2018 Fashion Show
Kith's Spring/Summer 2018 fashion show. (Image via Getty/Randy Brooke/WireImage)

This past Saturday night, Alexander Wang took to Brooklyn to celebrate #WangFest. The mobile show included the likes of Bella Hadid and Kendall Jenner stepping out of an Alexander Wang tour bus before strutting down the Brooklyn streets. Their looks, complete with party style hats that read “WangFest,” further alluded to the show's party atmosphere. Notable attendants included Kim Kardashian West and Kris Jenner, amongst others. Of course, the after party that Wang has become known for did not disappoint either. Cardi B and Ja Rule hit the stage to perform, and Dunkin Donuts, Dominos, and Budweiser took care of the food and drinks for the affair. 

Alexander Wang Spring/Summer 2018 Fashion Show
Alexander Wang's Spring/Summer 2018 fashion show. (Image via Getty/Gotham/GC Images)

Sunday night brought about even more festivities with Rihanna showing off her motocross and surf-inspired Spring 2018 Fenty line at the Park Avenue Armory. This was Rihanna's return to New York after her last two collections were debuted in Paris. Staying true to the theme, dirt bike riders tricked off of ramps over pink sand mountains to start the show. RiRi also took her bow on the back of a motorbike. The show boasted a star-studded front row that included Cardi B, Offset, Big Sean, and Jhené Aiko, to name a few.

Fenty Puma by Rihanna's Spring/Summer 2018 fashion show
Fenty Puma by Rihanna's Spring/Summer 2018 fashion show. (Image via Getty/Randy Brooke/WireImage)

Opening Ceremony decided to show off its Spring 2018 collection a little differently as well. Humberto Leon and Carol Lim debuted their collection using a dance performance titled “Changers,” which was written and directed by Spike Jonze. The collection itself featured plays on the collegiate wardrobe like varsity jackets, club T-shirts, sweatpants, and flannel shirts.

On Monday, Shane Oliver debuted his first collection for Helmut Lang at Pearl River Mart. The collection heavily referenced Lang's archive with a lot of pieces featuring fetish design, and leather accents as an added twist from Oliver. The former Hood By Air designer also included memorable head-turners—like an oversized bra that converts into a bag—in his collection. The ready-to-wear featured a line of Helmut Lang tour merch that featured red and white “HELMUT” branding throughout. ASAP Ferg, Ian Connor, Lil Yachty, Jerry Lorenzo, and more were among those who sat front row. 

Helmut Lang Spring/Summer 2018 Fashion Show
Helmut Lang's Spring/Summer 2018 fashion show. (Image via Getty/Catwalking)

 

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New Report Exposes Alleged Concert Ticket Scheme Orchestrated by Fyre Festival Organizer

When reports started coming out about the doomed Fyre Festival, which was originally billed as a “luxury” music festival and advertised by the likes of Kendall Jenner and Bella Hadid and which promised performances from Pusha T, Desiigner, Lil Yachty, Blink-182, and more, it became clear the whole thing had sounded too good to be true.

Billy McFarland, one of the masterminds behind the catastrophic festival and the owner of Fyre Media, has been hit with several lawsuits, arrested and charged with fraud, and been forced to place Fyre Festival LLC under involuntary bankruptcy. But Fyre Media is not the only company McFarland owned. He is also the CEO of Magnises, a company he founded prior to Fyre Media, that functioned as a members-only concierge service. However, documents acquired by VICE News suggest McFarland has been mismanaging that company’s finances, too, by running what appeared to be a complicated concert ticket scheme.

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One of the benefits that Magnises offered its members was discounted concert and event tickets. But credit card records suggest that McFarland was buying the tickets from third-party distributors like Ticketmaster, StubHub, and Vivid Seats and then selling them to Magnises members at a significant loss.

Moreover, McFarland used a Fyre Media corporate credit card to pay for many of the Magnises tickets, effectively ensuring that both companies suffered similar financial woes even though they were entirely different entities. McFarland allegedly charged his Fyre Media American Express credit card for more than $1 million worth of tickets in just four months.

The records also show that other Fyre Media company credit cards were issued to at least nine employees including co-founder Ja Rule and Grant Margolin, the music festival’s marketing director. But the charges on those cards “appear reasonably related to the Fyre Media business,” according to VICE. It's the charges on McFarland’s card that raise the most eyebrows, since that’s where more than $1 million worth of Ticketmaster, StubHub, and Vivid Seats tickets were charged.

The problem for McFarland is that Fyre Media was conceived as an app for people to book artists for private events. It never claimed to sell tickets for concerts and events. Magnises did.

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Former employees and Magnises members claim that McFarland would advertise and sell tickets to events he did not already have tickets to. And when the event dates arrived, McFarland would either cancel the reservations or provide tickets purchased through third-party organizations.

For example, Magnises advertised tickets to a series of Adele concerts in September 2016. A former employee told VICE McFarland did not possess the tickets he advertised and the whole situation sounds like it was a total clusterfuck.

“What happened with Adele was that we found out that Billy wasn’t going through a source in Live Nation at all, because for that concert, there were no e-tickets available; the whole thing was all ticket stubs,” the anonymous former employee told VICE. “We had to go and meet with these brokers who act as third-party buyers around MSG. And we’re spending the whole time running around the city trying to get them together and figure out how many they have and who’s going to go in which section.”

What’s more, McFarland was apparently buying the tickets on the same day as the performances. McFarland’s credit card records show more than $150,000 worth of StubHub, Vivid Seats, Fan Exchange, and My Ticket Tracker charges on September 19, 20, 22, 23, 25 and 26, the exact days Adele was performing at Madison Square Garden. There were no ticket charges on September 21 and 24, when she did not perform.

A similar situation happened when Magnises offered members $250 tickets for Hamilton. McFarland’s Fyre Media American Express records have charges totaling almost $30,000 labeled with Vivid Seats and Hamilton. The cheapest transaction with this label is $1,401.30, which means McFarland was operating on at least a $1,200 loss per ticket for this Hamilton deal through Magnises.

Finally, McFarland’s company offered discounted floor tickets to Kanye West’s Saint Pablo Tour in June 2016 at $275 each, about $100 less than the median resale ticket price. As should be expected by now, McFarland’s credit card records show more than $10,000 worth of Ticketmaster charges on the first night the Saint Pablo Tour arrived in New York City, September 5, 2016, also at Madison Square Garden.

All of this appears as though it's going to make life even more difficult for McFarland. Outside of the headache he's dealing with due to the Fyre Festival issues, he's also going to have to explain why it appears he was running a ticket scheme in the months leading up to that debacle.

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Leaked Fyre Festival Pitch Deck Is Proof It was Doomed to Fail

For Fyre Festival story no. 439, we are treated to the leaked pitch deck potential investors were given ahead of the doomed event's disastrous kickoff and subsequent postponement. Monday night, Vanity Fair's Nick Bilton shared the Fyre Festival pitch presentation in full, calling it one of the “most preposterous” outside capital invitations he's ever seen.

There's a lot to unpack here, arguably too much to unpack, but here are a few selected bits of preposterousness from the Bilton-obtained Fyre Festival pitch deck:

  • There's a Rumi quote slapped atop a photo collage of what the organizers hoped Fyre Fest would be: “Come, seek, for searching is the foundation of fortune.”
  • In another slide, the Fyre team vows that the “actual experience” of the festival “exceeds all expectations and is something that's hard to put to words.” Additionally, this slide promises, Fyre will “IGNITE that type of ENERGY, that type of POWER in our guests.”
  • Explaining the Fyre vision, the pitch deck summarizes the Fyre goals while referencing the “five elements of the earth.” According to this particular slide, Fyre has a five-year plan aimed at traveling the globe to discover “untouched lands” and flip them into “unparalleled experiences.”
  • Fyre Festival is touted as “the cultural experience of the decade.” Can't argue with that.

The most notable part, however, is the designation of so-called “Fyre Starters.” Fyre Starters are described as “ambassadors” who are part of the “Fyre Tribe.” Starters of Fyre listed in the leaked deck include Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid, Hailey Baldwin, Ashanti, and more.

On Monday, TMZ claimed that claimed that Fyre founders Ja Rule and Billy McFarland had been “barred” from attempting another festival in the Bahamas. Another festival, however, is apparently in the works for an alternate location and inaugural attendees have been offered the option of eschewing refunds in favor of VIP passes to the next one.

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Fyre Fest’s Legal Troubles Are Likely to Get Much Worse

When attendees were flown to the Bahamas for Fyre Festival, they expected an exclusive luxury experience on a secluded island; in reality, they were given FEMA tents and dry American-cheese sandwiches.

According to insiders close to the organizers orchestrating the event, inadequate preparation had decided the fate of the festival long before last weekend. No artists had shown up, probably due to the fact that none of them had been paid. When attendees—who forked over thousands of dollars at various celebrities’ behest—arrived, they found “luxury villas” replaced by disaster relief tents and necessities in dangerously short supply. The scene resembled a high school track meet more than a high end resort. Many attendees found themselves hamstrung by sparse transportation largely under the control of the festival organizers and unable to leave the island. The situation quickly plummeted into what was described as some iteration of The Hunger Games.

On Sunday, it was reported that several festival goers had filed a class-action lawsuit against both Fyre Media—the company behind the botched festival—as well as Ja Rule and his partner Billy McFarland as individuals and also a number of employees, agents, or co-venturers of McFarland and Ja Rule that have yet to be named. The lawsuit claims that these employees may be considered a part of the conspiracy just by virtue of being involved in the planning of the ill-fated festival. The lawsuit alleges, in relevant part, that the defendants committed fraud and breach of the sales contract made via each ticket sale. These claims are probably not difficult to prove given the circumstances, but the complaint is littered with tweets and viral images, perhaps meant to go viral itself and elevate the profile of the plaintiffs’ case in hopes of netting a lush settlement. Their chances of obtaining over $100 million in damages are likely low, but one thing is certainly clear—the festival’s peace offering of a paltry refund and a promise for a better experience next year is not going to solve the humiliation and anger of the festival’s affluent clientele.

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Image via Instagram

Events of this proportion usually maintain seriously high insurance policies, but it is unclear whether Fyre had one in this case. If not, the lawsuit is certainly likely to wipe out whatever is left in the Fyre Media Inc. bank account, but the same is not clear cut for Ja Rule and McFarland, as well as other employees of the company, who are named in their personal capacity. Generally speaking, a court will consider many factors to determine if the individuals can be liable, for example, whether the corporation has adequate insurance or funds to pay out the lawsuit, what the misconduct is, and whether other business formalities were adopted. However, this same analysis is not necessarily at play in case of any settlement, where Ja Rule and McFarland could decide to personally fork over some funds, particularly if they have any intention of keeping Fyre Media alive.

Just after the lawsuit was filed, the Fashion Law reported an exclusive statement from the plaintiff's’ counsel indicating that “all those who recklessly and blindly promoted the festival” will be head accountable. Given the vital role that social media influencers and models played in the promotion of the event, it seems almost unfathomable that they wouldn’t see some legal backlash. Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid, Emily Ratajkowski, Chanel Iman, and Hailey Baldwin all participated in the campaign, some of them even posting native advertising on their own social media channels, encouraging fans to buy tickets to the world-class festival. Depending on claims that they made about the festival, and of course whether or not they disclosed that their posts were in fact advertisements—as is required by law—the Federal Trade Commission could get involved by prosecuting breach of Truth in Advertising laws.

Given the vital role that social media influencers and models played in the promotion of the event, it seems almost unfathomable that they wouldn’t see some legal backlash.

Ultimately, any personal liability that these celebrities take on will boil down to what their agreements were with the festival; a well-negotiated contract would usually force the festival to cover the cost of any lawsuit against a celebrity if the claim related to the festival itself. The same carefully negotiated agreement usually includes a carve out for the celebrity to abide by all applicable laws. Most of those posts are now deleted, but consider that some of the influencers may not have abided by mandatory FTC disclosure laws in their posts, and there’s a potential route for their liability. It’s hard to imagine that someone with a profile like Kendall Jenner would subject themselves to this kind of legal vulnerability, but there is no doubt that even if they are not themselves liable for the damage done, their reputations are taking a huge hit—effectively damaging their ability to command a high price to hawk the next product.

Finally, it is also possible that the Bahamian Ministry of Tourism could consider their own legal action, as estimations of income lost from the debacle are in the millions. For now though, the Ministry is distancing itself and promising to implement tougher vetting procedures for new festival planners. The Bahamas also issued a statement maintaining that it was not involved in the planning nor was it a sponsor of the festival, and asking guests and others who may have heard of the debacle not to let it tarnish their image of the country.

One thing remains at the core of many of these issues: leveraging your name for a product or event has high stakes, and while the festival organizers seem hopeful, a $100 million lawsuit and a reputation of incompetence is likely to keep them from proceeding next year.

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Fyre Festival Head Admits They Were ‘A Little Naive’ In Statement

The Fyre Festival, a “luxury” music festival in the Bahamas, captured social media today after it was postponed. The reasons this festival fell apart were many: lack of organization, no security on the ground, canceled flights, mishandled luggage, “cabanas” that were actually disaster relief tents, terrible food, lockers without locks, and more. If it sounds like a lot, that’s because it was.

Amid the festival falling apart, the atmosphere was described as “total chaos” and “pandemonium.” For a full rundown of the festival’s demise, read this

Fyre Festival was scheduled to feature performances from some big-time artists: Desiigner, Blink-182, Lil Yachty, Pusha T, Rae Sremmurd, Tyga, and more. Ja Rule co-organized the festival, and Bella Hadid and Kendall Jenner are among the celebrities who promoted it.

Ja Rule said it’s not his fault, but he’s taking responsibility, which I’m pretty sure is literally the opposite of taking responsibility.

The festival’s head, 25-year-old Billy McFarland, has released a lengthy statement—via Rolling Stone—detailing how the festival fell apart and admitting that he and his team were “a little naive.” You can read the full statement below.

“Today is definitely the toughest day of my life. I'd love the opportunity to go through and tell my story of how we got here and how I see it now and where it's going.

I was a computer programmer, and after computers, the two things I love most are the ocean and, for some reason, rap music. So these three hobbies of mine somehow led me to meeting my partner, Ja Rule. Together, we became friends and business partners. For us, it was always a battle of pushing the limits. Once we got flying lessons together, we got on these really bad 40-year-old planes and flew from New York to the Bahamas—not really knowing the Bahamas very well—ran out of gas and landed in the Exumas and both of us immediately fell in love.

We started this website and launched this festival marketing campaign. Our festival became a real thing and took [on] a life of its own. Our next step was to book the talent and actually make the music festival. We went out excited, and that's when a lot of reality and roadblocks hit.

The Exumas didn't have a really great infrastructure—there wasn't a great way to get guests in here—we were a little bit ambitious. There wasn't water or sewage. It was almost like we tried building a city out of nothing and it took almost all of our personal resources to make this happen, and everything we had, to make this festival go on. We thought we were ready and built two different festival sites.

The morning of the festival, a bad storm came in and took down half of our tents and busted water pipes. Guests started to arrive and the most basic function we take for granted in the U.S., we realized, “Wow, we can't do this.” We were on a rush job to fix everything and guests were arriving and that caused check-in to be delayed. We were overwhelmed and just didn't have the foresight to solve all these problems.

We made sure all guests got a place to stay and had a really long conversation overnight last night after everyone was housed about what to do next and realized we couldn't risk the safety challenges. So that was the decision that we made—the first thing for us was making sure all these guests get refunded [and] all the vendors get taken care of. All the guests are going home, the refunds are being processed.

The weather unfortunately delayed flights and made them run into each other in terms of being close to when a lot of people were arriving. That was unfortunately something we had no control of, but it made things unacceptable for guests and we feel bad for it.

We thought we were making timeframes that were correct. We were a little naïve in thinking for the first time we could do this ourselves. Next year, we will definitely start earlier. The reality is, we weren't experienced enough to keep up.

Everybody who wants to go home is being sent home tonight. Some of the guests who are staying in private homes, we're asking them to stay longer, if they can. We're going to take every measure to make this right for everybody now, and make this right for everybody next year, on a large scale.

There will be make-up dates, May 2018 in the U.S., free for everybody who signed up for this festival. We will donate $1.50 [per ticket] to the Bahamian Red Cross. It'll keep the theme of being on water and beach. It'll be not just music, but all forms of entertainment. The one change we will make is we will not try to do it ourselves. We will make sure there is infrastructure in place to support us.”

Reading that, you have to feel at least a little bad for the guy. It’s clear he and his team got caught up in the excitement of their idea—which sounds good in theory, until you realize the Exumas were not set up at all for a festival—and got ahead of themselves.

Granted, a lot of people got screwed over by the Fyre Festival—that's nothing to overlook—but it sounds like the festival’s team is doing what they can to make it right.

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