At­tends his first men’s Paris fash­ion week as ed­i­tor – hap­pens to be the most sem­i­nal ever. No co­in­ci­dences there. While I pon­der how my fash­ion epi­taph might one day read, di­gest this: menswear is grow­ing at a faster rate than wom­enswear, with the in­dus­try set to rack up more than $670bn glob­ally. On that ex­cit­ing note, wel­come to our Big Style Is­sue. Un­til now, I’d come to ac­cept that not all men get ex­cited by fash­ion. Clearly, though, more are into it than are let­ting on, which is fan­tas­tic news be­cause re­ally style is just an ex­ten­sion of your per­son­al­ity. GQ’S role is to do away with any in­hi­bi­tions and coax out the con­fi­dence for you to dress as you wish. The above fig­ure shows we are mak­ing de­cent head­way. So, why is menswear hav­ing a mo­ment? For starters it’s now bet­ter de­scribed as a move­ment, thanks in no small part to the grow­ing in­flu­ence of the likes of Virgil Abloh and Kim Jones. So much has al­ready been writ­ten about the these men ( GQ’S two pre­vi­ous in­ter­na­tional de­sign­ers of the year, if I may say) and their role in shap­ing men’s fash­ion, but what’s cap­ti­vated me most about this new land­scape is the move to­ward in­clu­siv­ity and col­lec­tiv­ity. Shows and their col­lec­tions are now more ac­ces­si­ble than ever be­fore (just check your In­sta feed) with the elite favour­ing col­lab­o­ra­tion over separatism. In­deed, at 5pm on June 23 at Paris’ Garde Répub­li­caine, Boule­vard Henri IV was close to a to­tal stand-still for Kim Jones’ first Dior Men show. But stood among the spec­ta­cle, what im­pressed me most was the num­ber of Jones’ peers present; sup­port­ing, cheer­ing, in­spired. Virgil Abloh. Karl Lager­feld. Haider Ack­er­mann. Kenzo Takada. Chi­tose Abe. And most sig­nif­i­cantly Kris van Ass­che – the pre­vi­ous creative di­rec­tor at Dior en­thralled by ev­ery look and one of the first to his feet for Jones’ ‘victory lap’. It speaks vol­umes as to why an in­dus­try pre­vi­ously ex­clu­sive and de­tached from re­al­ity is cur­rently thriv­ing, ac­ces­si­ble and, yes, amenable to all. Add to this the Aussies fly­ing the flag in Paris, notably SSS World Corp whose show belted out Pan­tera’s ‘Walk’, and EX INFINITAS, whose eclec­tic show­ing in­cluded surf mag­a­zines strewn across the floor – it’s no won­der our men’s in­ter­ests are be­ing piqued. In an­other pen­du­lum swing, move aside Hol­ly­wood types, hip-hop artists are atop the New Fash­ion World Or­der (see p186 for more). Which is why we are thrilled Ken­drick La­mar is star­ring on the cover of our Big Style Is­sue. Any­one lucky enough to see him live on his re­cent tour Down Un­der will know there re­ally isn’t any­one more rel­e­vant, or im­por­tant in mu­sic right now. To hear from the Pulitzer-prize win­ner in his own words, check out p178. Be­fore you dive into the is­sue, re­mem­ber to wish your dad a Happy Fa­ther’s day on Septem­ber 2 and don’t for­get Septem­ber 13 is R U OK Day. So, be sure to ask those around you if they are, you know, OK.

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