Kendall Jenner Is Doing Menswear Better Than Most Men
Pepsi pacifist and supermodel proper, Kendall Jenner sits in the very glossy mag-friendly center of a sprawling Venn diagram: there's the reality TV pedigree, a career forged during the ascent of Instagram, a poker in the burning abyss of Fyre festival, a CV that's genuinely in the upper echelons of fashion despite the E! beginnings and even an appearance on The Annoying Orange, whatever that's worth. The 25-year-old is a model of her time, borne of all these different things that make-up The Culture of 2020. That means she wields great power over it – and it doesn't end at the Estée Lauder counter in Selfridges. No. It now applies to menswear.
While stepping out in New York City, Jenner co-opted all the good bits of today's good menswear into her own look: loose, fluid, but in that bookish Brideshead Revisited way as opposed to something ethereal and Stonehengey and a bit weird. Granted, this stuff is likely womenswear. And yet all the trends from our current runways are there. What's more, you can lift it directly, fits and all. No man would struggle in Jacquemus-like slacks and autumnal knitwear. The same applies to sensible, clompy shoes too: a wizened Latin lecturer's must-have that've turned into cool items proper by way of Birkenstock, and the second wind of Kickers.
This isn't a one off. Earlier in the week, Jenner went for several different shades of dessert cream. It works well for women. But it also works for men too. And, the pieces involved aren't all that dissimilar; see Johannes Huebl in the same city in largely the same pieces for the same overall effect. For all this talk of gender fluid clothing being a commercially distant prospect, very famous men and women are dressing very alike. The stuff they've chosen isn't hugely left-field either. They're staples, but well-made ones, so quality are they that they flatter a variety of frames. Of course, an open Oxford shirt will sit well on a Chanel runway model. But it's also just as good on frames that are a bit more like ours – as are the slacks, and the knitwear, and the sensible shoes.
Indeed, Jenner is uniquely placed in fashion's canon. Because of her background, and her generation, yes. Christy Turlington never did clock 25 million likes for laying on the floor with a few love hearts around her head. But the supermodel du jour isn't just making menswear tropes her own; she's schooling the very guys who made them. She's perhaps even a bit better at doing it.
This story originally appeared on Esquire.co.uk. Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.