“King of the Youth.” That’s more than likely the way that Ian Connor would describe himself, albeit not directly. At 5’5” and rail-thin, not only is Connor not a typical model, but that’s due in part to the fact that he spends his non-modeling time as a social influencer, creative consultant, fashion guru and social media maven.
With friends and clients like Justine Skye, Wiz Khalifa, Kylie Jenner, A$AP Rocky, and most recently (and importantly), Kanye West, the young social influencer is crafting his own lane in pop culture, spearheaded by his unique style and DGAF attitude.
Having found his start by selling his line of tees and sweatshirts, Connor was contracted by brands like Stussy and Bape for model work. His trajectory continued upwards as he became the creative director for A$AP Rocky and manager of rapper Playboi Carti.
The stylist’s most shining moment will be his interaction with living legend Kanye West. After receiving a text message from Virgil Abloh (best friend of West and the visionary behind Pyrex/Off-White), an exchange of communication lead to Ian becoming a creative consultant for West’s YEEZY Season 1 & 2, modeling for both rollouts. A highlight of the shows, other than the clothing itself, came from Connor, who slouched and took puffs from his cigarette, while the other models stood stark tall and still.
Even more recently, it seems that since he is now busy curating a new reinvented line of clothing. West has passed down his defunct Pastelle clothing brand to Connor, the exchanged confirmed by both parties; first by Connor sending out a video of him flicking through old designs from the 2009 collection, which never saw the light of day. He also sent out a photo wearing a previously unseen short sleeved tee.
With West forsaking the entire label altogether, many samples and designs are now only being seen from the quick glimpses of Connor’s social media sites. It will surely be interesting to see the reception once the young influencer fully takes on the mantle of reproducing his new line for the masses. Initially a streetwear brand, Pastelle’s contemporaries included the likes of BAPE, BBC/Ice Cream, G-Shock watches, New Era fitted caps, and a loud, flamboyant aesthetic. Each of these have phased out with the times, and clearly ‘Ye foresaw the premature end to his fledgling brand.
Contrasting to the late ‘00s, today’s streetwear consists of neutral tones, oversized silhouettes, distressing, and more moody aesthetic. Increasingly, brands are moving from a hip hop influence to more of rock-n-roll inspiration.
As cyclical as fashion trends are, it would fit for the dramatic exuberance of Pastelle to break up the monotony that is currently all the rage (look at Rocky’s recent collaboration with Guess, for example). And with Connor alluding to production of Pastelle soon to take place in Italy, streetwear connoisseurs are chomping at the bit to scoop whatever is to come from the revitalized Pastelle brand.
Only time will tell of what is to come, so stay tuned for more updates about Ian Connor and Pastelle.