How Thom Browne assembled the most amazing Clique in fashion

Lil Uzi Vert, Whoopi Goldberg and Alan Kim — yes, the cute kid from Minari—Go into a room. This is not the beginning of what is certain to be a incredible joke; it was just a Thursday afternoon in early October at Thom Browne’s flagship, in Lower Manhattan. That unlikely trio features some wildly different celebrities: actors Lee Pace and Charles Melton, artists Amy Sherald and Sunshine, and Portland rapper Aminé. They were all clad in some variation of Browne’s meticulous gray flannel outfit — some in pants, some in shorts, some in pounds, Whoopi cocooned in one. Spectacular floral gown. They’re all here as tag-carrying members of today’s trendiest fashion group: Team Thom Browne.

“I wear Thom Browne every day,” says Uzi, with a neon-lit space helmet — a trademark of the new pseudonym, AstroCat — on top. “It makes me feel more than unique. It makes me feel complete. It makes me feel like no one else exists.” That’s quite a meaningful statement from a man who owns more designer mugs than lobsters in Maine, but it’s a sentiment that a growing number of stars – across multiple fields and mediums – – seem to share.

Twenty years into an already iconic career, Thom Browne has found himself as the integral architect behind some of the most famous moments in recent fashion history. LeBron James purchased Browne’s suits for the entire Cleveland Cavaliers roster in 2018. Cardi B won the 2019 Met gala in a feathered Browne bartending contest and over a dozen (!) for the 2021 edition — Erykah Badu, Evan Mock, Sharon Stone, and Pete Davidson (in a dress) among them — caught up in Thom Browne’s astonishing gaze. Dan Levy ranked the Emmy quartet in 2020 wearing a pleated Thom Browne mini dress, and the designer was a standout at this year’s Grammys (Phoebe Bridgers in a shimmering see-through gown), Oscars (Alan Kim in a mini tuxedo) and New York Fashion Week (Russell Westbrook in a flowing white dress).

All this star power is a relatively new look for Browne, and it brings a new dimension and energy to his work. For a man whose reputation is built on the precise and methodical way in which he approaches every aspect of his life – from his finicky tailoring to his gluey shaved haircut – there is a a rich and versatile variety for both the people Browne chooses to dress and the clothes he puts them in. “The most important thing is that they are authentic individuals,” says Browne of his preference for ambassadors. “They really are true to themselves, and they do anything else. We live in a world where some people are famous for not being able to do many things, which is not interesting to me. I like people taking their time and being serious about what they do, and not caring what other people think.”

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