Twenty-nine beautiful black models slayed every step of Romeo Hunte’s Fall/Winter 2018 runway. How could they not? The label cuts some of the best outerwear in the business.
When you throw shearling jackets, fox-fur chubbies, trenches tiled with fur patchwork, PVC-detailed bombers and reversible raincoats over Black Panther-inspired Speedo wetsuits, finished off with fresh pairs of Tims, you know what happens? #BlackGirlMagic, that’s what. Add a DJ, film crews, social media influencers like June Ambrose, Blake Scott, Saint Jhn and every major fashion magazine, and you’re on the road to what could be a successful season.
But showmanship is not to be confused with craftsmanship. Hunte’s collection does not depend on hype; rather, it depends on finely worked jackets with well-thought-out detailing like detachable sleeves, reversible linings and detachable collars in combinations that are at once surprising and surprisingly wearable.
For his 2018 Fall/Winter collection, the designer said that his inspiration was Aspen, Colo., a city that is cloaked in posh ski resorts, five-star restaurants, world-class think tanks and luxury shopping that’s as intense as any black diamond ski run. It’s also a city where your coat conveys status as much as, if not more than, your clothes; those wet suits Hunte used as underpinnings may have been a nod also to the one-piece ski suits so ubiquitous in the Mile-High City.
Hunter has a unique vocabulary when it comes to coats that draws equally from cinched, belted and chained Italian police uniforms; Marcy Projects street style; and the glamour of old Hollywood movies. Hunte’s women make grand entrances and dramatic exits; one particular standout this season was a trench coat with fox-fur patchwork.
But what Hunte does best is updating and reworking his own signature details and patterns. He is known for dressing celebs like Beyoncé, Halle Berry and Zendaya in buffalo-check ponchos; this season, clear PVC was added as an overlay on the checked pattern to give this soft staple fabric both edge and a modern dimension. (You’ll likely be seeing a lot of PVC this season; it was also utilized by Virgil Abloh in his capsule collection for Jimmy Choo that debuted at New York Fashion Week on Tuesday.)
What we saw this season was a modern woman’s uniform for traveling exploring. The Romeo Hunte woman is a woman who is going places—and wants to get there in style.