Kone on the runway and Nicky checking out his shoes

Kone: Gray Line Map Edition

We love Kone Sidou.  He’s fam and we dig his style.  We recently shot Kone (with W+P Photographer Shaun Mader) for our Portrait Series (coming in October) to show off Kone’s sense of easy, sporty elegance and effortless cool.

Now, our boy also happens to be a model.  Like, a serious one.  He was the face of Cole Haan this season (is that why I bought a pair?).  So when we were thinking about what Wolf + Panther would report on for New York Fashion Week (NYFW) we thought it would be interesting to take a different angle on Fashion Week reporting by bringing you the story of Jonah in the belly of the whale A.K.A. a male model at Fashion Week.  We were curious what it’s like to be paradoxically at the center of the whirlwind and yet also removed from it the way model’s seem to be (they are the literal focus point, but they’re not the ones having the conversation – that’s the designers and the media).

First up for Kone was walking in the Grey Line Map show.  Model Call was at 10am for the Chelsea Piers show.  Because Kone has short hair and damn near perfect skin, he told us he often doesn’t need hair or make-up, so he got to skip those chairs in favor of hanging out on pleather sofa (with quite a nice view of the Hudson).  Plenty of time to enjoy the bagels and fruit salad (they DO feed the models!) and, just like the rest of us, dick around on your phone. How much of your time in this job is spent waiting like this?  Kone: “Yeah, it’s a lot of time spent waiting.  Mostly my job takes 15 minutes, I put on the clothes and then walk.”

While Kone waited and the other models got their hair done, clothes were unpacked and ironed and finishing touches were being put on many of the garments. To keep things organized, each model’s look was assembled on a hanger with a photo of what it looks like on.  Miguel Pena, the designer for Grey Line Map,  did his thing with gust and style making last minute adjustments.  The footwear for the show was surprisingly badass looking wingtip boots by Dr. Schole’s (what!? I know!!)  When asked the prerequisite question of “are they comfortable?”, Miguel’s excited response of “So comfortable! Super light wait, I couldn’t believe it.  Dr. Scholes!!”  I need a pair..like yesterday.

Twenty minutes before showtime the models practice their walk while production tests the lights and music.  Looking around, everyone is on beat and ready to rock.  As a flurry of bodies, lint rollers and clothes move in a choreographed dance the models are dressed and lined up.  The show’s production was recognizably smooth, organized and on point.  Kone told us about some other ones (often bigger names) that weren’t quite as clean.

“The job is very simple if things are organized, when it’s not then it get’s very stressful.  A model is supposed make a face that looks strong, but when you’re stressed you look angry.”

Of course when Kone said this his face split into that amazing smile of his.  Nothing to be angry about at this show.  A zen-like calm describes the mood backstage as Simon Alcantara adds his super cool necklaces and jewelry as a final touch to the looks.

And then it starts.  The EDM gets pumping, the lights get cool and the models do that thing they do.  Kone wore an irridescent white short-sleeve button down with harem pants that become tapered to tights at mid thigh.  He strides down the catwalk, turns and heads back.  Changes out of the clothes and he’s done.  Off to his other job.  Did we tell you Kone’s a chef?  Like, a serious one at Colonie on Atlantic Ave.  We love this guy.

W+P’s review of the show:

Grey Line Map’s S/S 2013 line looks good.  Lots of formally structured button-downs in iridescent fabrics, sleeve-less sweaters, sheer tanks, shorts and calf-length pants with brightly colored socks.  With fun details like longer-in-the-back shirt tails kept the structure and formality of the looks light and laid back.

He said:  The short sleeve sailing jacket in black paired with the capri-length black pants and yellow socks was my favorite look.  Crisp, but relaxed and fun at the same time.

She said: I really digged the use of color in the socks. And of my favorite looks were the sleeveless knit wear with the crispness of the tailored shorts. Did I mention that the Dr. Scholl’s shoes were everything?