Usually when we see news coverage of a FASHION DISASTER/DRAMA story, we see horrible outfits or crazy and Outrages designer creations on the runway like this one;
FASHION DISASTER (THIS IS JUST UNBELIEVABLE...Makes me laugh everytime!!!!!!!!)
However, when I read the story of a 17 year old boy from New York, Kevhan Thorpe, in the New York magazine this past week; I was fascinated, disturbed, and taken back a little by what the article might mean for many people….Here was a young black teenager, living at QueensBridges Houses projects (not the fanciest places to live), who is also an honors student with dreams of going to Harvard Law school, being featured in an article titled “The Fashion Thief”. Thorpe is as a young fashion fanatic and serial shoplifter, whose been jailed a couple of times for his shoplifting and stealing habits for Luxurious fashion items. It is clear to see that many of people would find it to both expose and reinforce stereotypes (especially for those of us who have experienced being followed around by a guard at a major luxurious store because we are brown, you can understand this point)…..ESSENTIALLY, it is the content of this feb 2009 story featured on NYMAG.com that is interesting and worth reading (if you haven’t yet read it)
NY Mag. "Kevhan Thorpe" pic. by nymag.com
Kevin's stolen items as he featured on his MySpace (picture by nymag.com)
The article describes the young man’s journey in becoming a fashion thief and the reasoning behind his actions, which quite frankly are not clearly diagnosed in the article…However it is comments like, “I feel high-class—like nobody can tell me nothing.” (by Thorpe) and “If you’re walking down the street with average clothes, people won’t pay attention to you…But then you walk down the street wearing, like, a thousand-dollar outfit, people gonna look at you a certain way” (by his family/friend), That gets me to think, you know what??? there might just be a “Fashion Obsession epidemic” today???
Thorpe has taken from labels like Ralph Lauren, Fendi, Prada and in departments like Bergdorf Goodman, Barneys…the price has never been the point, it is about getting his hands on the items he feels he must have. The story includes interviews/words of family and friends of Thorpe like this one; [“I went to a store in Manhattan with him one time,” says Monet (family/friend). “He was like, ‘We gonna go to Prada, then we gonna go to Fendi.’ He said he had his grandmother’s credit card and he’s gotta get some Pradas. He was like, ‘Come on, I’ll get you a pair.’ And when we got to the Prada store, he just walked in like he was P. Diddy. He saw these gold Pradas with straps, and he was like, ‘Oh, I have to have those.’ He was like, ‘Miss, do you have these in a size 38?’ And she was like, ‘Yeah, you want to try them on?’ He was like, ‘No need to try them on. Just put ’em in a bag, ring ’em up.’ He had this attitude like he owned the world.” ]
I am wondering what has pushed him to become a fanatic for high-end fashion ‘literally’ to the point of risking Jail time, multiple times?? HE IS NOT THE FIRST NOR THE LAST, there are thousands of people all of over the world who have the same problem not because they have to but because they want to…we may have different opinions on it, but the point is that maybe we all need to keep our ‘fashion philosophies’ and what influences our love for fashion, in check…
TO READ FULL ARTICLE OF “THE FASHION THIEF”, click on this link nymag.com
so, What’s your take on it???