Kevin Abstract talks new album and life after Brockhampton at the Prada Show

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An hour before the Prada men’s autumn-winter 2023 show, Ian Simpson – better known as Kevin Abstract– sits in his hotel suite and contemplates his future. “I’m trying to figure out my life,” he says, leaning back on the couch. “My band broke up and I don’t know what I’m doing.” Ian is of course referring to Brockhampton, the hip-hop collective he fronted until November, when the crew released their final album and went their separate ways. One can understand why he would now be in a state of unusual uncertainty. Brockhampton, which he organized in 2010 across an online music forum from his hometown of Corpus Christie, Texas, was envisioned as a boy band for a generation of misfits searching for a form of their exaggerated creativity. Through the band he found himself as Kevin Abstract; now he has to find out who Ian Simpson is.

What better waypoint on a journey of self-discovery than a Prada show? “When Prada called, I was so happy,” says Simpson. Lately, he’s sought out scenarios that might snap him out of his LA malaise. “I want to be around things that feel inventive and have inspired me or had some kind of influence on me, whatever the medium is. I think that adds to the journey of it all. The journey of me accepting that I am lost, and lean into being lost,’ he says.

Simpson has been “obsessed” with Prada since last year. “I was in Italy in the summer and all the guys I thought were hot were always out of Prada, and I thought – I should probably go buy some Prada.” Today, he’s wearing a dark navy blue cable-knit sweater and faded jeans that taper cleanly over a pair of pointy, shit-kicking western boots. The doors to the balcony are wide open and it is freezing. Simpson keeps his living quarters as cold as possible so he can wrap himself in blankets. For now, a long leather trench coat – from the sleek, leather-heavy Prada spring-summer 2023 collection – will do, as will the rest of the fit.

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