On a tepid, clear night in Paris this June, fashion editors climbed the cold stone steps of a
city high school and filed into seats perched high above the building’s center courtyard.

Below, giant block letters covered the ground in a formation reminiscent of the opening credit crawl
in Star Wars. And although the words spelled out the Leonard Cohen quote, “There is a crack in everything.
That’s how the light gets in,” you sensed you were about to be taken to a world that was at once far,
far away and right here in the City of Light.

The show was, of course, Raf Simons’ thrilling spring opus—a compelling display of precision
tailoring and intricate materials. The collection’s sleeveless jackets and slim black shorts challenged
ideas about proportion and dress and captured all that is great about men’s fashion right now.

The show electrified the crowd, which in addition to the circuit’s regular observers, included fashion’s
new cover boy Kanye West, in town not for some press opp or as the result of a post-concert drive-by,
but because he was genuinely interested in what was going on and wasn’t ashamed to show it.

Following the show, West, in what had to be a reversal of roles for the music mogul, made his
way backstage to congratulate Simons. Seeing him there—curious, excited and eager to talk about
clothes—only confirmed what many inside of fashion understand about the world outside of fashion—
it’s as relevant as art or film, and more and more men want to discover more and more about it.

West, who also sat front row at Junya Watanabe, Louis Vuitton and lead a standing ovation at Lanvin,
is an interesting case study.

He loves fashion, really loves fashion because he intimately understands that clothes are more than
just covering, more than just something you put on. He understands they’re a reflection of the person,
and of culture at large. At their loftiest, West knows, clothes are transformative, and at their most basic,
he knows they’re just fun.

If you think West is alone, you’re wrong. More men—and not just the ones the industry likes to
pigeonhole as fashion enthusiasts—are openly embracing fashion. A recent article in the trade
publication DNR reported than men’s wear sales at retail continue to outpace those of women’s.
As Simons and West showed this summer the future of men’s fashion is now.

-Contributing Editor