The Spring/Summer 2018 menswear shows in Europe were filled with plenty highs and lows. While there were a lot of major firsts for designers of color, there were also some racially charged moments. Several trends ruled the season, like the resurgence of “ugly sneakers,” short-shorts, and stripes. But the biggest trend by far was the widespread influence of hip hop culture, resulting in one of the most exciting seasons yet.
Check out the major moments below.
1. Raury’s Dolce & Gabbana protest
21-year-old rapper Raury— one of several influencers selected by the Italian designers to walk the runway during the brand’s latest presentation— disputed controversial fashions in an act of protest while on the catwalk. The star removed the runway hoodie he sported during the collection to reveal handwritten words on his chest reading, “PROTEST D&G, GIVE ME FREEDOM” and “I AM NOT YOUR SCAPEGOAT.”
2. Balenciaga accused of knocking off Ruff Ryders logo
On the heels of announcing the extension of the Ruff Ryders reunion tour, Swizz Beatz called out the French fashion house for knocking off the group’s logo. The verdict is still out on whether Balenciaga will issue a public apology or not— we’ll stayed turned to see how this one pans out.
3. Heron Preston’s womenswear + handbag debut
The buzz around Heron Preston’s second collection centered mainly around his expansion into womenswear. The influencer and certified “cool kid turned designer” also announced a bag line with Off-White’s Virgil Abloh.
4. Drake’s debut with LV
Following its buzzed about Supreme collaboration, Louis Vuitton made another major move with its latest runway show by partnering with Drake to debut his new song, “Signs.” Smart move by the brand’s creative director, Kim Jones to bring buzz to the presentation.
5. Off-White’s refugee-inspired show
Virgil Abloh, a designer known for producing thought-provoking shows with a social message, highlighted the plight of political refugees in his latest. Determined to use his platform to engage youth-led conversations on social issues, the Off White founder recently told Vogue.com, “I’m a millennial brand. Kids will go and research the messaging they see on Instagram.”
6. A$AP Bari’s V-Lone debut + livestream
Harlem’s own A$AP Bari debuted his first runway show for his V-Lone collection in Paris and livestreamed it through TlDAL. A major move for the A$AP Mob member, the collection includes new V-Lone x Nike Air Force 1 colorways and a dope assortment of athleisure-inspired wear.