Why Are Celebrities Like Michael B. Jordan Wearing Harnesses on the Red Carpet?
Last night at the SAG Awards, Michael B. Jordan joined the small but influential list of men who have rocked a harness on the red carpet for an awards show in 2019. And the actor—who came up big at the festivities when Black Panther won for best cast performance in a movie—wasn't shy about his particular choice of harness. It was bold and bright, covered in watercolor splashes of pink, purple, and yellow, and emblazoned with the iconic Louis Vuitton monogram.
This isn't the first time the harness has made an appearance at a major event this year; Timothée Chalamet wore one in sparkly black at the Golden Globes. And last year, Olympian Adam Rippon wore a leather one under his tux at the Oscars. So, despite the tinge of S&M and the maybe-leather-daddy vibe the accessory carries with it, it's becoming kind of A Thing for black-tie affairs.
So what's going on here? Well, for one thing, we're expanding our fashion vocabulary. As Esquire's own Justin Kirkland wrote earlier this month, "Queer fashion flexes are your next step, so whip out that harness (with or without the dress shirt) and get your pair of cloven boots because I hope the future is full of leather and glitter."
But we also can't understate the influence of one designer here: Virgil Abloh. He took the reins of Louis Vuitton's menswear last year, and harnesses featured heavily in his debut spring/summer 2019 collection. No coincidence, then, that both Michael B. Jordan and Timothée Chalamet opted to wear harnesses—or, in the fashion house's parlance, "mid-layers"—on the red carpet.
Is the harness the next big thing for normal guys? Will your old college buddy opt for one at his wedding? Can you expect your nephew to rock one on prom night? Well, if your college buddy knows the word "couture" and your nephew is really into the streetwear-meets-high-fashion scene that catapulted Abloh into the menswear stratosphere... maybe. Or maybe not. But let's remember that Michael B. Jordan did just win a prestigious award while wearing one. Maybe it's all connected.
This story originally appeared on Esquire.com. Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.