Romeo Hunte Fall 2019

Diversity and inclusion have become keywords for many of the collections this season. The Fall 2019 season will exceed other seasons with respect to inclusion of models that represent ranges in size, racial and ethnic diversity, and gender fluidity.

Romeo Hunte had his own take on the fashion industry’s expansiveness by creating a fall 2019 collection that a brother and sister could exchange and wear. Hunte’s androgynous distillation also borrows heavily from New York City’s vogueing ballroom scene of the 1980s with his models prancing and vogueing down the runway, which unfortunately was a bit of distraction from the garments.

As Hunte has proven in previous collections, outerwear is his collections’ strongest point. There was a significant amount or reworked denim jackets and coats, as well as shearling, leather and some nicely worked trench coats. Some of these jackets will do very well in the retail market. Unfortunately, in this collection an androgynous design aesthetic is not Hunte’s forte.

That said; there are several garments in the collection that a woman or a guy’s female sibling could mix and match from the man’s wardrobe; however, this is not true in the reverse. I cannot imagine many male consumers wanting to borrow almost any of these clothes from their female counterparts—not even gender non-conforming types. Not because the clothes are too feminine for guys to borrow, but because, in general, the clothes are just not appealing with too many incohesive ideas going on at the same time; the one exception being the parachute-like satin coats.

Images courtesy of wwd.com

Many of the ladies’ looks in the collection look homemade without the sophistication that modern female consumers demand. That said; the menswear looks did have an element of sophistication and restraint, making the menswear more accessible.Current collection aside, Romeo Hunte is doing something that many US–based black designers—Virgil Abloh, Pyer Moss, Laquan Smith, and Cushnie—are doing; looking to international markets to solidify their consumer base. Hunte recently had a “See Now, Buy Now” fashion show in Nigeria and several of his garments sold right off the runway!! Hmm, pay attend black designers. There is gold in them hills across the Big Pond!!

—William S. Gooch

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