Love, Kelly by Kelly Butts-Spirito Fall 2023

Every fashion week, the industry tries to give a portrayal of what it believes is “what’s next” in high-end, futuristic fashion and luxury streetwear. But too often, they don’t provide the story behind the clothing itself. In just two years, Kelly Butts-Spirito, in his debut at New York Fashion Week (NYFW), gave everyone who was fortunate to spectate firsthand a great representation of forward-thinking and futuristic fashion,as well as his story and what brought him there.

 Butts-Spirito’s collections are from core moments and awakenings in his life. The Love, Kelly by Kelly Butts-Spirito runway show took attendees on a journey via a documentary film that helped share the true story behind each collection while also helping everyone connect and understand his creative vision and direction.

Butts-Spirito NYFW show came on the heels of an impressive festival he put on in Burlington, VT, last month. Despite the time crunch, Butts-Spirito and his designer and partner, Milo Rubin, were able to make 43 pieces in 40 days. “The garments were a mix of everything, from French cotton terry and an 80/20 cotton/poly blend for hoodies to a bunch of different types of denim; the only piece with stretch denim was the denim hoodie. We had a duck canvas jacket and leather patches on suede pants. We also incorporated reworked jeans into the looks, often adding flares on the inside or outside of the leg,” explained Butts-Spirito.

Butts-Spirito understands that creating a brand image through social media and any other innovative ideas, like when you meshed a documentary to fit into this recent runway show is a current innovative way to bring attention to your brand. “I think the most important thing in fashion design is perspective and feeling. I think the best designers have an interesting perspective on the world and they share that through dope clothing. The clothing that I think has the best design are the ones that make you feel something impactful when you wear it and look at it,” details Butts-Spirito.

This debut collection takes consumers through a cinematic journey of Butts-Spirito’s life, its complications, and everything in between. “The colors were intentional to match the themes of the emotions I was going through at the time. For the first collection, the feeling was very tan and nude color-based because the heartbreak emotion to me felt very naked. The film barely had any color correction on it as well because of how I wanted it to feel, which was raw. The second collection was all black and white because it represented going from darkness to light. The third collection is very colorful because it represents childhood, my home and the rebirth of me coming back to my hometown and redefining myself.”

Images courtesy of Owen Hammel

What can we expect next from Butts-Spirito’s brand, Love Kelly? “The fashion world can expect the unexpected from my brand. I want my brand to always continue to push boundaries while bringing new and unexpected shows and clothing collections to the world. A place where fans of the brand can always feel surprised by what I create next. I plan on bringing a winter collection to life and will be releasing it during the winter months.”

With bated breath, we can hardly wait. Fashion world, watch out!!

—Ryan Salfino

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