Stylist and creative director, twenty-five-year-old Ian Connor, recently broke 1 Million followers on Instagram. This milestone came just a few weeks short of the two-year anniversary of Malika Anderson’s blog post entitled, “Ian Connor is a Rapist, and I Know First Hand,.” Despite dozens of additional rape allegations, Connor’s career advances.
Before boasting collaborations with some of the biggest names in hip-hop and fashion, he began amassing a smaller, but dedicated following on Tumblr. He went from modeling for small streetwear brands, to becoming Wiz Khalifa’s stylist and assistant in a few short years. In 2015, he solidified his position as fashion’s newest it-kid and proclaimed himself “King of the Youth” as after modeling at the Yeezy Season 1 Premiere. From then, it didn’t take the teenager long to infiltrate the buzzing inner circles of the elite and fashionable, regularly out with the members of A$AP Mob and collaborating with Off-White Co-founder Virgil Abloh. Kanye West, Playboi Carti and many other big name celebrities consider Connor a freelance consultant. His dark and edgy style mirrors his dark and emotionless online persona, captivating the internet’s youth on multiple platforms. A kid with all the right connections, a cult-like following, and an eye for style has the makings to seize the fashion world in the coming years.
Malika Anderson was a student at Emory University when Connor direct-messaged her on Twitter. She met up with him no more than three times, the last of which ended in Connor taking advantage of her in a vulnerable position and having sex with her after she insisted that she did not want to engage. Shortly after, she received threatening messages from Connor from a fake account trying to intimidate her into silence. Anderson filed a police report, but “insufficient evidence” renders the case closed for the time being. Malika Anderson’s blog post, calling him an “ego-maniac” and “serial rapist” prompted a flood of unrelated women varying in age from 16-23 across the country to come forward and share similar stories. The women recount feelings of shame, embarrassment, and anger towards the “style protégé.” As of February 2018, Amber Rose, model and women’s rights activist, reports speaking to over 20 women alleging assault by Connor.
In the meantime, Connor has kept himself busy with his own shoe brand, Revenge x Storm, doing pop-up shops in the past few months in London, Tokyo, Paris, Florence, and Melbourne. Last month his brand released an exclusive shoe collaboration with big-name rapper, YG. Notably, Ian Connor continues his friendship with Virgil Abloh, now the artistic director of Louis Vuitton Menswear; a picture of the two can be seen on Abloh’s twitter posted in February. More recent twitter posts also show a videos of Ian in a room with Caitlyn Jenner and another one hanging out backstage at a Lil Yachty concert. Ultimately, despite occasional comments on his social media accounts, it appears that Connor’s social life and brand remains primarily untarnished.
Last year when asked by a radio host on the Rap Radar Podcast about Connor’s legal issues, A$AP Rocky said, “That’s my little brother. F**k what the world gotta say. You feel what I’m saying? He’s a young visionary.”
“…famous people who assault others, sexually or otherwise, and end up paying the full price of the havoc they wreak are too few and far between“
Here is the unfortunate reality of the situation: famous people who assault others, sexually or otherwise, and end up paying the full price of the havoc they wreak are too few and far between. We can’t control which celebrities keep him in their inner circle. We can’t influence the outcome of any open or closed cases against Ian Connor. At the end of the day, Ian Connor is laughing in the face of these accusations all the way to the bank. However, here’s what you, as a consumer of media, can control: how you allocate your media attention, and more importantly, to whom. It is crucial to consider it a moral obligation to take on a conscious role in who you choose to directly or indirectly support. Support can come in the form of a purchase or even a like on Instagram. I’m proposing a shift in the way we think about our impact, a shift in the direction of the hands of the followers. Pay attention. Do your research. Support within your personal ideals and morals. Don’t give anyone opportunities that you don’t think they deserve, because these people aren’t anything without your attention. You’ve got more influence than you think. Instead, check out some of these young people who are making headlines in fashion for the right reasons:
1. Blondey McCoy
age 20, skateboarder, artist, and founder of Thames London clothing
2. Yara Shahidi
age 18, actress and activist
3. Stars of PAQ
A London-Based Fashion Web-series Elias, 20 Danny, 21 Shaq, 22 Dex, 22
4. Adwoa Aboah
age 25, model and feminist spokeswoman
5. Luka Sabbat
age 20, actor, model and founder of HOTMESS
by Hanna Haile
featured image sourced from here