How Styles are Made
First: Alex Knost
While stoned and looking through old Thrashers from the 90s, Knost realizes he likes how they wore their pants back then. He’s kind of sick of skinny, black jeans.
Days later, perusing some thrift store off Sunset after a surf in Malibu, he notices a pair of pants exactly like the ones he saw in the Thrasher. He purchases them, puts them on during the long drive to San O (he’s not the one driving), and is captured by a photog checking the waves before paddling out for an evening sesh. The photographer sells the picture to RVCA; they use it for their next month’s ad.
In Tokyo a month later, two Japanese hipsters are looking through Surfer and notice Knost’s pants. In part spotting the new trend, in part helping to create it, they each find their own pair of pants that resemble Knost’s for super cheap on the Japanese equivalent to Amazon. Forty-three days later, one of them is stopped by another photographer — this one from Popey Magazine. The Japanese hipster in the Knost-inspired pants appears in Popey Magazine 93 days after that.
Two days later, 95 after the photo was shot, 138 after the Japanese hipsters bought the pants, 168 after the RVCA ad came out, 189 after Knost's soul was captured in a digital frame, 193 after he first found inspiration, and 9,318 after the Thrasher Magazine he found inspiration in first hit news stands, during a layover in the Neruda airport, a kid from LA, on his way to Thailand for a family vacation, flips through the Popey Magazine at one of the kiosks. Woe, dude, wait – what the fuck?! Some dude in Tokyo is wearing the exact same pants his buddy at school has been, and in the exact same way. What he doesn’t know is his buddy was at the thrift store off Sunset when Knost bought the pants.
Pretending to look at jean jackets, his buddy was actually staring at Knost in semi-awe – as a skater and surfer, for him this low-level celebrity sighting meant more than the Kardashian he didn't know he saw two doors down – and also trying to figure out if Knost was as stoned as he was or if he was just, like, projecting. While trying to play it cool despite his bloodshot eyes bugging under his shades, privalaged-LA kid's buddy watched Knost buy the pants. He then purchased similar ones a week later. Dude's been wearing them for months, even though his buddies, including the very kid in the Neruda airport at the time, think they’re lame. He never told any of them the inspiration. And just like that – Boom! – privalaged-LA kid has a revelation in Neruda: his buddy's not some lame-ass looser, but rather a fabulously multifaceted fashionista fabricating polyphonic flair.
Nevertheless, privileged-LA kid who gets flashes of fashion acuity in Neruda doesn’t get his own pants until months later (thanks to the 2% spandex, his skinny black jeans fit fine), after he spends a weekend in south Orange County for a cousin’s birthday and notices all the surfer kids down there are wearing the same damn pants. They surf San O and figure, subconsciously of course, that maybe if they dress like Knost, they’ll start to surf like him. Airport kid’s a couple of months behind (hundreds of kids between SF and San Diego, and of course all over NYC and Brooklyn, are wearing them by now), but he’s still light years ahead of Tulsa.
Three months pass. And, then, during Paris Fashion Week, most of the male attendees are wearing similar pants at one point or another — entirely unaware they come from a Thrasher Magazine that hit news stands 9,409 days before. Those who aren't wearing them quickly purchase a pair Gucci comes out with the next week; at $749.99 a pair, they’re a steal. H&M comes out with an affordable, though chintzy, option two months later, sewed by child laborers in Malaysia who, while working, pray – to Allah, Jesus, the Buddha, or whoever will hear their goddam cries – that the factory doesn't catch fire, and that if it does, someone actually remembers to unlock the door holding them in.
Three years later, the pants become cool in Tulsa, but mostly just with Juggalos and ravers. Which is interesting because the Juggalo that started the Tulsa trend actually found inspiration for them not from the now hopelessly passé Paris Fashion Week three years prior but from a Thrasher Magazine he found laying around his uncle's house that hit stands 10,564 days before.
It will be ~15 years before they hit Paris Fashion Week again — thanks to a yet-unknown hip-hop artist in Queens who finds inspiration while stoned and looking through a Popey magazine that some privalaged-LA kid found in a Neruda airport 5,456 days prior.