In the aftermath of a so-called “bomb cyclone” bringing record-breaking levels of cold weather to the United States, it appears the next phase of climate anomalies will involve the “influencer jetstream.” The term, which first came on our radar when Virgil Abloh mentioned it during our panel at LA’s Fashion Tech Forum, describes our interconnected, travel-heavy culture that consists of many of today’s most relevant figures readily documenting the various location tags on their maps via Instagram posts and other social media.
That’s one of the myriad concepts behind Heron Preston’s Fall/Winter 2018 collection, the cheekily-named “Public Figure.” There are rhinestone globes on tees emblazoned with “Influencer Jetstream,” underneath a list of hotspots that range from New York Italian restaurant Carbone, Parisian bar Le Baron, and Tokyo’s ritzy Cerulean Tower Hotel. Another tee reimagines KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders, a marketing-infused buzzword for “influencers”) as athletes, reading “Influencer All-City.”
It reflects the self-aware nature of modern digital tastemakers, acknowledging the ridiculousness of their careers in a way that pokes fun at the very culture they helped proliferate. Of course, there will still be plenty of people on whom the joke will be lost completely.
“Public Figure” also sees the debut of two key collaborations: One with Detroit workwear manufacturer Carhartt, consisting of double-knee work pants, tees, beanies, a vest, and a chore coat. The items are washed and paint-splattered to give them a vintage appeal, with rhinestone cyrillic details that speak to Preston’s high-low sensibility. He wanted the items to look both “frozen in time,” but also as if he bought them off of the back of a construction worker.
The collaboration builds on previous themes in his collections, like when he reimagined the uniforms of New York’s Department of Sanitation. The other notable collab is one of his dreams come true—a licensed collaboration with NASA.
Given access to the space agency’s graphic archive, he opted for the futuristic “worm” logo, named for its connected “S” and “A,” and although it was designed in the ‘70s and retired in 1992, it looks more modern than NASA’s currently used logo, a chunky typeface on a blue sphere lovingly referred to as the “meatball.”
It includes a technical jacket inspired by spacesuits, and a backpack that takes after the jetstream backpacks used by astronauts who may find themselves drifting through space. This one may be more useful for navigating the influencer jetstream.