Everything is better when you’re high…including fashion. I never had the urge to pre-order something until I laid my freshly Visine’d eyes upon Alex Wang’s new collection. No, I wasn’t tripping. Cannabis leaves had sprouted on mohair coats, laser cut dresses and mini bucket bags. Here was the prince of downtown cool flying the flag for all the chic stoners out there. You could picture the badass model crew he rolls with—Lexi, Binx, Zoe—rocking all of those pieces. Unfortunately, Wang’s weed bags (I’m trolling Moda Operandi for one) are sure to go for way more than your delivery guy’s deal on an ounce.
Just a few hours after Wang’s show, the Baja East boys featured dangly marijuana leaf earrings on their runway. In the case of Fall 2016, two’s a trend. And while weed certainly isn’t anything new, “high fashion,” in this sense, is. Granted, I knew there was something in the air when we started seeing hoodies and drug rugs become fetishized status symbols. A few seasons back, Mara Hoffman showed a green “harvest” print that sold out, and Jacquie Aiche has been making gorgeously delicate “sweet leaf” jewelry favored by the likes of Rihanna.
On the topic of Rihanna, I can’t think of a better counterexample to the stigma that stoners are smelly slackers wearing hemp necklaces and tie-dye tees. Rih basically runs the world in Dior Couture with a joint in hand. She embodies the rise of a new, higher-end cannabis culture, tweeting out the Drake lyric: “Kush rolled, glass full…I prefer the better things!”
Designers are smart to grab a slice of the Mary Jane pie now. As legalization measures take effect throughout the country, cannabis continues to become casually omnipresent, and our attitude towards it increasingly relaxed. Weed is part of our mainstream culture, so it might as well become part of our fashion, too. Those who rebrand pot to be luxury are the ones who’ll be laughing their way to the bank. Even Warren Buffet is investing in the smoking hot marijuana industry now—let’s call him a ganga-preneur. All signs indicate that we’ll be vaping at fashion events in no time.