Two groups of fashionably dressed men gather around both sides of a basketball court. GRACE, a ginger-haired creative type with a cat in arm, walks to the center. She blows into a whistle to get their attention.
GRACE: Take your positions, designers! It’s time for another round of fashion dodgeball. To those who played the last game, welcome back.
The designers nod their heads in greeting.
GRACE: Now, as many of you know, I stepped down from my full-time role at American Vogue, so I can now partake in recreational activities as I please. Anna can’t fire me.
The designers burst into laughter.
GRACE: But all jokes aside, let’s get started.
She evenly spaces out the balls on the centerline of the court.
At the sound of the whistle, the designers rush to the center of the court to retrieve the balls. After a few seconds pass, the whistle sounds again to signal the start of the game.
Marc a toned and tattooed designer, flings a ball across the court. The ball speeds towards Nicolas, a handsome Frenchman with piercing eyes. It bounces off his chest. He catches it.
NICOLAS: You’re out, Marc.
It isn’t long before the game quickly intensifies.
A bearded Stefano ducks and dodges as balls come hurling from his opponents. He pegs the ball at a wiry Hedi in black, Los Angles-inflected clothes. The ball hits Hedi square in the head.
STEFANO: Dio mio! I’m sorry, Hedi! Are you okay?
HEDI: I’m okay. I just need to sit down for a bit.
GRACE: Hedi, are you alright? Let’s get you to the trainer. And no need to worry! We can find you a replacement.
HEDI: What? No. I never said that I wanted to quit.
GRACE: Oh, I thought someone said—I thought I heard—something about your contract?
HEDI: What you heard are rumors, Grace.
GRACE: Oh. Well, have a seat then. You can play for Yves Saint Laurent in the next round.
HEDI: Saint Laurent.
GRACE: Okay. Stefano?
GRACE: You can continue. You’ll be substituting in for Ermenegildo Zegna.
The game starts up again.
Raf, a quiet Belgian in minimalist attire, grabs ball and launches it towards the other side. It hits John, wearing what could best be described as a drunk Halloween costume.
JOHN: Hey! That was my hat! It’s ruined!
A verbal altercation ensues. John is promptly served a penalty for making injurious comments to Raf. Upon explaining that he was under the influence of his outfit, the penalty is changed to a 15-minute timeout.
Meanwhile…the sportily clad Alexander in a T-shirt and sneakers hurls a ball towards Nicolas. The Frenchman darts the other way, but accidentally travels over the line.
GRACE: Nicolas, out of bounds!
Wearing his signature glasses and bowtie, Alber dives for a ball on the far side of the court. At the same time, an impossibly chic woman along the sidelines aims a stray ball at Alber. It strikes him on the shoulder.
ALBER: Hey, you’re not a designer!
He glowers back at his adversary, Shaw-Lan.
GRACE: Balls thrown by majority shareholders are perfectly legal. Alber, you’re out!
STEFANO: Does this mean I can trade places with Alber? I don’t want to play for Zegna anymore…
The 15-minute timeout over, a soberly dressed John prepares to rejoin the game. A curly-haired Renzo gives John a good luck pat on the back.
RENZO: I have faith in you, John!
The game nears its end.
Alexander races towards the center to retrieve another ball. In the process, he is hit by an unknown designer on the opposing side.
GRACE: Sorry, are you new?
DEMNA: You could say so. I have my own French label known for its gender-bending, radically reworked and resized streetwear. There’s been a lot of buzz around it.
All the designers politely applaud.
GRACE: And what is this label called?
DEMNA: Oh, it’s very subversive. It’s called “Vetements.”
Everyone murmurs approval.
RAF: Excuse me? Sorry, but I quit. How am I supposed to maintain my design integrity and work-life balance with all this erratic ball playing? What’s the point?
GRACE: None, really! There will be another game tomorrow. Now, who wants to play that round? We’re expecting a number of players from the Italian fashion houses: Peter, Massimo, Frida, oh, and Alessandro….
All the designers except Raf raise their hands.