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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Playboi Carti Denies Claims That He’s Stealing Beats

Riding the success and momentum of “Magnolia,” Playboi Carti has made quite a name for himself this year. Not everyone has been a fan of his meteoric rise to the top, however, and Carti has even had to deal with accusations that he has refused to pay a producer for beats.

The Atlanta native has finally come out and addressed those allegations. During an interview with DJ Akademiks through Instagram DM's, Carti forcefully denied the allegations, and says anyone trying to call him a thief is just out for attention.

“They trying to get clout. I only rap on Pierre [Bourne] beats,” said Carti. “So the old producers sick. I promise, I don't do janky business … I don't owe him shit, I don't steal beats.” He would go on to explain that his accuser, MilanMakesBeats, is just “mad [because] I stop [sic] rapping on his beats.”

Though that gets Carti's thoughts on the matter on the record, it doesn't exactly cover for the entirety of MilanMakesBeats' complaints. In his interview with DJ Akademiks, Milan claimed he reached out to Carti years ago when he heard a snippet of the song that became “VLONE Thug” playing during an Ian Connor livestream. Once it morphed into the real thing, Milan says he started getting in Carti's ear.

“I started hitting them like, 'That's my beat,'” Milan said. “I didn't really care how they got it. I just wanted to get paid.”

After establishing a working relationship with Carti, Milan claims he ended up producing quite a few songs for him, including “On Go” and “Butterfly Coupe.” But Milan told Akademiks that in many cases, Carti refused to credit him with his full producer name, let alone pay him, an act he feels was intentional.

“I started noticing anytime he did mention my name he would put 'Milan Beats' and I've corrected him before,” said Milan. “So I think he's doing that on purpose.” He also claims he received “not even a penny” in return for “VLONE Thug.”

It's always hard to know who to trust in these situations because you can see either version of events being true. Rappers on the come-up don't always have extensive production budgets, yet at the same time, with Carti's star on the rise, anyone carrying even a minor grievance with Carti knows they'll get a ton of attention.

You'll have to decide for yourself who you believe. Check out the video from Akademiks up top, where he shares the DMs from Carti himself around the 2:10 mark. 

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ASAP Bari Accused of Sexual Harassment After Graphic Video Surfaces

Last night, video surfaced showing a man who appears to be ASAP Mob co-founder and Vlone designer ASAP Bari telling a woman “you fucked my assistant, now you're going to suck my dick.” The video, according to Reddit, was first shared via @SoledOut and other Instagram accounts before being deleted. 

The brief clip is captioned with the phrase “what that mouth do bitch” and shows a man wearing a red Supreme x Louis Vuitton sweater who appears to be Bari, pulling the sheets off a naked woman as she struggles to hide beneath them and telling her to perform oral sex on him. Another man appears with the woman in bed, while another is heard commenting as he shoots the video. The woman, clearly distraught, is heard saying “Stop it, stop Bari . . . honestly” before walking out of the room. She's followed by a person who appears to be Bari, who slaps her on the buttocks as she walks away from the bed.

A photo taken a few days prior to the video surfacing shows Bari at the London Wireless Festival wearing what appears to be the same ripped denim shorts and red Supreme x Louis Vuitton sweater with a black shirt layered underneath seen in the video.

asap-bari-supreme
Image via Instagram

Twitter account @chasinfoodstmps said Wednesday night that she was the woman in the clip, alleging that “Bari and his crew” forced her into bed and “Bari got upset because I refused to engage in any sexual acts.” The account also claimed that Bari had since been “apprehended” by “U.K. police forces.”​

bari
Image via Twitter
bari
Image via Twitter

In since-removed tweets, Bari called the video fake:

bari
Image via Twitter

As discussion on the alleged incident carried over onto Reddit and Kanyetothe threads, stylist/creative Ian Connor—who was seen on video fighting with Bari at the Colette store in Paris last year—seemingly addressed the footage in a series of tweets. In the tweets, Connor said he was going to “upload a video,” presumably related to the Bari allegations.

In 2016, Connor faced multiple sexual assault accusations of his own. Thursday, Connor replied to a tweet that said “Does it matter if Ian Connor was set up? He's still trash” with “Sad.” Connor also alluded to being set up, sharing an image of @thelifeofmalij at “the AWGE/VLONE house” and telling his followers to “do the math.”

 

ian
Image via Twitter
ian
Image via Twitter
ian
Image via Twitter
ian
Image via Twitter
ian
Image via Twitter
ian
Image via Twitter

UK authorities, @SoledOut, the woman who claims to appear in the video, and reps for Bari, Nike, and Vlone did not immediately respond to Complex's request for comment.

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Before ‘Teenage Emotions’: How Lil Yachty Got Here

Lil Yachty takes a huge step forward in his career with the release of his debut studio album Teenage Emotions. But what got us to this point? How did Lil Yachty become the phenomenon that everybody's talking about? Here are some of the high points of his journey to stardom.

January 2014: Yachty shares his first IG post

Yachty is nothing if not a master of social media. He currently has nearly three million Instagram followers, and gained much of his following via IG and other social media platforms. But it all started on Jan. 8, 2014 (175 weeks ago, in Instagram terms), when he posted this BRE (Before the Red hair Era) photo. 

 

trapaholics nigga I shoulda been had onna deez

A post shared by KING BOAT #fortheyouth (@lilyachty) on Jan 8, 2014 at 1:56pm PST

As the son of a prominent hip-hop photographer who was a veteran in front of the camera by the age of four, Lil Boat was a natural fit for Instagram. 

August 2014: He drops his first song on SoundCloud

Yachty didn't really break through until late 2015 (more on that later), but he had plenty of music before then. While some argue that his debut track was “Bitter Sweet,” the very first track he posted on SoundCloud on Aug. 10, 2014 was the confusingly-spelled “I Got the Baag.” Check it below.

Summer 2015: Yachty moves to NYC

In the summer of 2015, not long after adopting his nickname and nautical-themed style, the teenager formerly known as Miles McCollum moved to New York City with one simple plan: meet famous people. As someone with an eye on the fashion and streetwear worlds, Yachty wanted to meet and impress people like “fashion influencer” Luka Sabbat. “They're the cool kids all the kids listen to,” Yachty told Rolling Stone. “It was strategic. They helped my name build.” 

August 2015: Busted for credit card fraud

While back in Georgia that same summer, Yachty and a 21-year-old friend named Clarence Logan were busted at a mall with over three dozen fake credit cards between them. They were charged with forgery, fraud, and counterfeiting, and Yachty was let go on $11,000 bail.

December 2015: “One Night” used in popular comedy video 

Yachty's first big break arguably came at the very end of 2015, when his song “One Night” was used in a comedy video by Caleon Fox called “When Bae Hits You With That 'So What Are We?'” Almost immediately, YouTube commenters started asking what the song used in the skit was.

February 2016: Yachty models at Yeezy Season 3 show

By early 2016, Yachty had become close with the controversial tastemaker Ian Connor, who last year was accused of rape by multiple women. Connor played some of Yachty's tunes for Kanye West, which led to Yachty being invited to model for Kanye's Yeezy Season 3/album release show at Madison Square Garden.

March 2016: He drops his debut mixtape 'Lil Boat'

Yachty released his debut mixtape Lil Boat in the weeks after the Kanye show. The project proved the teenage rapper had a unique style that went beyond his social media presence.

April 2016: Collaborates with D.R.A.M. on “Broccoli”

April 6 was the release date for the hit collaboration with D.R.A.M., “Broccoli.”

May 2016: Works on Chance the Rapper's 'Coloring Book'

Chance the Rapper's Coloring Book featured Yachty alongside Young Thug on the track “Mixtape.”

June 2016: Yachty Spits a Hot 97 Freestyle

That June, Lil Yachty appeared on NYC radio station Hot 97 with Ebro Darden. When asked if he was a rapper, he said, “No. I don't know.” And then, as if to prove his point, he wiped out during a freestyle

The back-and-forth with Darden and Hot 97 continued, with Yachty releasing a song aimed at them in July. He then joined Ebro again on the latter's Beats 1 show in November for something resembling a reconciliation.

June 2016: Signs With Quality Control and Capitol

June was a huge month for Yachty. In addition to the Hot 97 appearance, he revealed he was signing to Atlanta powerhouse Quality Control. That was quickly followed by the announcement of a joint venture between Capitol and QC for Yachty's next project. Also that month? Yachty made the XXL Freshmen list

July 2016: 'Summer Songs 2' Drops

Yachty keeps the music coming in July with the release of Summer Songs 2 and an accompanying short film called Keep Sailing.

August, 2016: Yachty disses Biggie, Pt. 1

In an interview with Billboard, Yachty says he “honestly couldn't name five songs” by either 2Pac or the Notorious B.I.G. Outrage follows.

October 2016: Want a Sprite?

Yachty teams up with LeBron James for a Sprite ad featuring Yachty's hit “Minnesota.”

November 2016: Expands into fashion

Yachty's nautical fascination finally pays off when he's asked to model a collaboration between Urban Outfitters and Nautica.

November 2016: Yachty disses Biggie, Pt. 2

During an appearance on Pitchfork's “Over/Under” series, Yachty refers to Biggie as “overrated.” He quickly apologizes.

December 2016: Links with Kyle for “iSpy”

Towards the end of 2016, Yachty teams up with Kyle to release “iSpy.”

February 2017: Getting that Target money

Yachty has never been one to shy away from endorsements (“endorsement money is huge,” he noted in a 2016 New York Times profile). So it was no surprise that he did an ad for Target. What was a surprise was a) it was a collaboration with Carly Rae Jepsen and b) it featured a remake of Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock's 1988 classic “It Takes Two.” 

March 2017: Named one of Forbes' 'Cash Princes'

Yachty's newfound commercial and financial success is celebrated by Forbes, who names him one of the magazine's Cash Princes alongside Desiigner, D.R.A.M., Noname, and others. That same month, he teams with Nautica for a second collection.

It will be interesting to see where Lil Yachty takes his career from here. Man cannot live on controversy and cool hair alone, so we'll be looking forward to seeing what happens when he becomes a little more established and no longer has to defend his every move against criticism from rap purists. What will Lil Yachty be like in a world where he's not constantly battling for acceptance—a world where, perhaps, there may even be a teenager or two rebelling against him? Whatever happens, we'll be listening.

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How Round Two Became the Go-To Vintage Store for Lil Yachty, Travis Scott, and the ASAP Mob

In 2013, three friends—Sean Wotherspoon, Chris Russow, and Luke Fracher—opened Round Two, a small boutique that specialized in vintage clothing, in Richmond, Virginia. Four years later, they’ve expanded to a second location in Los Angeles and become one of the best stores around.

“I always wanted to do well, and thought we were going to kill it, but I had no idea it was going to be the worldwide thing it has become,” Fracher says now.

Round Two initially started as a website with the same name. Russow and Wotherspoon used roundtwovintage.com as a platform to sell their thrifted vintage gear and sneakers. At the time, they operated their business out of a storage unit they filled with racks of clothing. They didn’t start looking into opening a store until months later. Fracher, who became friends with Wotherspoon because of shared interests in vintage and streetwear, reached out to Wotherspoon to help him sell his old Polo and Air Jordans.

Sean Wotherspoon and Luke Fracher at Round Two
Left to right: Co-founders Sean Wotherspoon and Luke Fracher at Round Two. (Photo by Julian Berman)

The opportunity to open a brick and mortar came when a spot a couple blocks from the VCU campus opened up on Broad Street in Richmond, a 15-mile stretch that’s home to a lot of the retail shops in the city. The rent was affordable, so they jumped at the chance. “It was cheaper to run the store,” says Fracher. “So we were like, might as well try it.” The shop became the go-to spot for all of the local sneakerheads and vintage and streetwear collectors. “When I first moved to Richmond, there was a lot of cool boutiques, probably like four or five, but they all closed during the Recession,” Fracher adds. “We filled a void.”

In October 2015, Round Two opened its second location in L.A., between Fairfax Avenue and La Brea Avenue, and instantly saw success. There were roughly 100 people lined up outside of the shop during the grand opening. “I think it really popped because we had a great location, and the right people found out about us,” Round Two’s director of marketing, Justin Esposito, says.

Round Two found their niche in L.A.’s market selling a mix of vintage gear, streetwear, and sneakers. “I don't remember a time where I haven't been out at night or out at a spot where I didn’t see someone rocking a piece from our store,” says Esposito.

Kanye West's Pastelle Jackets at Round Two Hollywood
Kanye West's unreleased Pastelle varsity jackets. (Photo by Julian Berman)

Their collection of vintage gear—including the Polo NASA jackets that can fetch between $2,000 and $3,000, and hundreds of ‘90s rap T-shirts—and rare streetwear pieces like Supreme box logo tees have attracted some of the biggest names in hip-hop and fashion today. ASAP Rocky, Playboi Carti, Travis Scott, Lil Yachty, Kendall Jenner, ASAP Ferg, and Virgil Abloh are all fans. “Every time I’m not here I tell everybody in the world about this store,” Yachty has said in an episode of Round Two’s YouTube series, which they started in April 2015.

Even Tommy Hilfiger has stopped by Round Two. “Tommy Hilfiger was in Round Two buying every single piece of Tommy Hilfiger ‘cause he wanted to build an archive for himself,” Esposito recalls with a laugh. “He said he forgot to do it in the ‘90s. That's insane.”

Round Two Hollywood store
Supreme Jordan 5s dipped in red paint by Wotherspoon. (Photo by Julian Berman)

Round Two’s founders credit their YouTube channel as the main reason for their rapid growth. Close to 95,000 subscribers tune in to get a look at their day-to-days and a behind the scenes look at what happens at their shops. They feature the staff buying, selling, and trading products, cameos from celebrity shoppers, and the staff in short skits that appear around halfway through each episode. The videos are around 50 minutes on average, but the lengthy presentation seems to have paid off for them. “I was hesitant and pushed back a little bit [at first],” Fracher says about Round Two’s YouTube channel, “but I'm obviously very fuckin' happy that we did it.”

In 2015, the shop also made noise when Wotherspoon posted photos of himself on Instagram dipping the highly-coveted Supreme x Air Jordan 5 in red paint. “We really noticed a spike in people coming to the store and discovering us for the first time after that happened,” says Esposito.

YouTube channel aside, they also credit Theophilus London, ASAP Bari, and Ian Connor for helping spread the word about Round Two. “[They] all came to the shop frequently the first summer we were open,” Esposito says. “Those three dudes kinda helped us set the tone for the store. They did a lot for the Round Two community.”

Supreme and Bape collectibles
Supreme, Bape, and Kaws collectibles. (Photo by Julian Berman)

This past January, Round Two hosted pop-up shops in London and Paris during fashion week that they curated with some of their best vintage pieces. Both temporary stores were a success. “The first day in London we had a five-hour line,” says Fracher. “It was crazier than the Supreme line.” The pop-ups introduced them to a new audience and helped them get their foot in the high-fashion world, which they think is finally starting to accept the vintage and streetwear cultures. “It was cool being around that, and having brand new people really be into our room and what we’re doing,” says Esposito.

As their brand recognition continues to grow, Round Two aims to expand their reach. In addition to its two L.A. brick and mortars, Round Two now also has an appointment-only store on the block called The Gallery, where they carry their rarest and most expensive pieces, including original “Banned” Air Jordan 1s. This summer, they’ll be opening their first New York location, following the successful week-long pop-up shop at vintage boutique Procell they hosted in December 2016.

“We’re working towards preserving the culture permanently,” Esposito says. “I think Round Two is just going to get bigger and better.”

Round Two Hollywood Store
The sneaker wall at Round Two. (Photo by Julian Berman)

 

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