I’m nervous!” Latabia Woodward, dressed in a neon pink crewneck sweater and white denim, tells me. “But I’m so, so proud of him.” Her son—Kiari Kendrell Cephus, also known as Offset, one-third of the Grammy-nominated, platinum-selling rap group Migos—is about to debut his first clothing line, Laundered Works Corp, in a cavernous Gothic Revival church in the heart of Paris’s 8th arrondissement. Cephus, on the other hand, insists that he’s not nervous. He never gets nervous, he adds.
Backstage before the show, models, friends, members of the Laundered Works team—including Cephus’s codesigner, Chaz A. Jordan—bustle around him. “I call this cultural drip,” he explains of his debut line. “It’s for the youth, but it’s still got some luxury and class to it.” It’s important to him that the collection of sweatsuits, tees, denim, and leather pieces be accessible to his fans. “I wanted to keep my designs within an affordable price range so that all my fans could enjoy them with me. I didn’t want them to be something they’d put on their wish list for Christmas.”
The church is respectfully silent in the 10-minute time frame between people getting seated and the show’s beginning. The only sound is the train of a faux-fur coat sweeping along the floor as it follows its owner backstage. Cardi B, Grammy-winning, multi-platinum-selling rapper and Offset’s wife, has arrived to support her husband’s new venture. Dressed in a custom Mah-Jing Wong sheer catsuit, Adrienne Landau faux-fur coat, and a glittering, jewel-encrusted balaclava by Couture Mask, she looks like a cross between Catwoman and Cruella de Vil. After she joins Cephus’s group members, Quavo and Takeoff, in the front row, the show can officially begin.