Ian Connor's Fall From Grace
I remember as soon as I started getting into fashion, I came across a young Ian Connor, who was decked out in a Wil Fry outfit of bomber jacket and shorts adorned with his own face on them. I didn't know who this kid was, and at the time I didn't think much of it, until he started showing up as an apparent fashion muse for several major recording artists.
Ian Connor was one of the forerunners of the #CoolTeens movement (Asspizza, Mike the Ruler, Luka Sabbat) that grew out of loitering in Soho sometime in 2013, though his greater fame came from hanging around artists such as A$AP Mob, Kanye West, Theophilus London and a close friend of his, PlayBoy Carti. It seemed as if Connor’s entire existence lived on the back of these influencers shoulders.
To be fair, Connor has done some of his own work being in lookbooks for Rhude, 424onFairfax, Lumieres and top brands Stussy, and Supreme, but was also a center of attention in the first Yeezy Season. He was also involved with Off White, and rumored personal stylist to Wiz Khalifa.
Recently, though, things have taken a turn for the worst. A couple of months ago, Ian Connor was accused of sexually assaulting multiple women, all speaking up one after the other, with one woman in particular, Malika Anderson, authoring a blog post in which she describes the incident in detail. Connor and his fans were less than sensitive, shaming the women involved and insisting that Connor was in the right. This situation was accompanied by other events such as having his friends beat up teenagers and stealing a Supreme jacket off a kid's back, and deleted tweets from 2013 exhibiting mindsets about consent that really, really did not help Connor's case. Despite the stack of allegations against him, Connor still had a sizable and dedicated following.
Last month was really the time for change though, as Connor got into a fight with Theophilus London and A$AP Bari at a store in Paris, following Theophilus bringing up Connor's rape allegations. Eventually, after some heavy twitter beefing, this turned a fair amount of his fanbase against him. People were now tweeting at him and calling him a rapist, among other things. My question is, why did this take so long?
Ian Connor never once seemed a likable person to me. Maybe I've been quick to hate on him just based on bad vibes alone, but when it comes to the actual allegations against him, from multiple women claiming he assaulted them, why wasn't that good enough for his fans to stop supporting him? Why did it take the word of another man (Theo) calling him a rapist on twitter for people to start to dislike him, despite the fact they already had the word of six women?
While we're on this subject, why did it take multiple women coming out? I think it's disappointing that people didn't have second thoughts after just one spoke out. With the way things went down, it sounds like in order for someone to be recognized as a predator, you need to have at least a handful victims willing to speak against you, and a famous man has to tweet about it. Only then, apparently, will your fans realize you're not someone worth supporting. What does that say about the value we as a society place on the word of multiple victims?
This isn't an article to say "Ian Connor isn't cool anymore." This is an article to say that Ian Connor has revealed himself, through consistent use of social media, through consistent evidence against him, through multiple allegations, that he was never cool. That regardless of skill, hype, or social ladder climbing Connor may have successfully used, Ian Connor was always a shitty person, situated in a place in which it was easy for him to be praised and admired for his actions, regardless of what they might be. Ian Connor successfully played the game by having a bad boy persona and the posse to back up his status, thanks to the ever expanding crowd of artists he surrounded himself with. So when it came time for Ian Connor to be recognized as the predatory, toxic person he is, it didn't happen because of all his support, his hype, his followers, and his aura. Because of Ian Connor's social ranking, the large majority of people aware of his existence completely glossed over the growing number of people making themselves inexpressibly vulnerable by speaking out against him. And these masses didn't recognize that Ian Connor assaulted multiple people, that Ian Connor is a bad guy in a good place, until he got in a fight with another figurehead people liked, and this information about Connor became just another name to call him to get back at him for sucker-punching an artist they liked.
Victims of assault were ignored until hating Ian Connor became the cool thing to do. This is something that cannot happen, and that people need to own up to. In supporting an artist, stylist, influencer, whatever, realize that their actions reflect upon you, and that supporting Ian Connor means you are directly defending all of his inexcusable actions.
What's next for Ian Connor? Who knows, but we won't be caring enough to watch. We at FMF do not support predators or toxic people, industry figures or not. We urge you to keep your eyes and ears open, and to be sure that the people you're a fan of are deserving of your attention.
Special thanks to Jackson Ray, Ben Achilles, Rony Aleman, and Zach Storm for their help on this article.