Most upstart streetwear labels would kill to get their pieces on an A-list celeb. For designers like Heron Preston, just one celeb in a key piece is enough to elevate a brand from beginner status to the big leagues. For WTFHYD, the brand landed some of its hottest pieces on the biggest names in Hollywood before even releasing its first campaign.
On August 4, none other than the bad gal herself, Rihanna, was photographed wearing a 14K gold pendant necklace with a charm that read “fuck you”. The media swarmed and almost immediately fans wanted to know the designers behind the bold statement piece.
And perhaps not by coincidence, RiRi’s beau Drake showed his love for the brand on Snapchat. There was a picture of a half-finished cocktail with the 14K Gold “fuck off” money clip connected to the glass stem.
If two of the biggest names in music have shown affection for the brand, then the hype is truly warranted. But what exactly is the story behind WTFHYD?
WTFHYD is an expletive-friendly acronym for the phrase “What The Fuck Have You Done?” At the moment, there isn’t much of an origin story. The brand seems to have come completely out of nowhere. But considering the level of success achieved in its early stages, the mystery shrouded over its beginnings isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
In fact, most streetwear brands that start this way are powered on the strength of myth. Co-signs from major musicians aren’t easy to come by. But in the modern day and age of social media, it’s often all you need to reach a massive audience.
"The brand seems to have come completely out of nowhere. But considering the level of success achieved in its early stages, the mystery shrouded over its beginnings isn’t necessarily a bad thing."
The most notable offering from WTFHYD is its jewelry assortment. Full of attitude and explicit blunt reality, the pieces aren’t for the PG scene. In addition to the pieces favored by Rihanna and Drake, there’s a “fuck” ring, “fuck” bracelet, and namesake “what the fuck have you done” necklace all in 14K gold. And if you’re considering making a purchase but afraid that it’ll break the bank, don’t fear. The jewelry pieces all range from $45-$85. In this case, it doesn’t take a wad of thousands in cash to keep up with your favorite style icons.
But there’s more to the brand than just jewelry. Its bomber jackets have begun to make a splash on the trendy streets of cities like New York. Embroidered with the phrases “fuck off” and “What the fuck have you done?”, the bombers are an edgy take on the fall outerwear staple. With a mix of sheen, flash, and obscenity, these bombers are leagues ahead of the basic offerings at mass market retailers.
Additionally, there are t-shirts and mesh singlets printed with the label’s signature profane phrases.
The brand’s bags and accessories take simplistic art to a whole new level. The ‘stick figure’ humor of its leather pouches are amusing while also full of dark humor. For example, the ‘I would rather…’ embroidered leather pouch prominently features a stick figure gouging its eyes out with a knife. It’s a literal take on the popular sarcastic phrase but with style and expertly crafted hand embroidery.
Continuing its wave of clout with major celebs throughout various aspects of the business, WTFHYD just launched its debut fall campaign featuring none other than model wunderkind Meredith Mickelson. The young model, who boasts more than 700,000 followers on Instagram, is just moments away from becoming a household name. And thanks to her steamy campaign for WTFHYD, she’ll be doing so in some incredible threads.
The campaign was shot by Papa Joe Simpson and shows Mickelson wearing the “fuck off” baseball bomber jacket. She’s wrapped in an embrace with a man whose face isn’t visible. Her eyes are closed and her face shows little emotion. It’s an icy look to match the lack of emotions embroidered across her back.
WTFHYD shot the campaign on a New York rooftop for extra edgy effect.
While most people would feel pretty accomplished with some prominent features from Drake and Rihanna, official co-signs from fashion’s streetwear elite are just as important. During New York Fashion Week, model Squid Loc was pictured wearing the “fuck” ring on the runway for Hood By Air. The HBA runway show was one of the biggest and most controversial highlights of the entire week.
WTFHYD offers a fresh take on breaking into the streetwear game. Instead of chasing trend with snapbacks and screen-printed tees, the label has paved its own lane with brash attitude and truly unique skills. From its premium gold jewelry to its beautifully embroidered apparel to its humor-inflected accessories, WTFHYD deserves your attention. And not just because major celebs say so. If you don’t get onboard now, you’ll be kicking yourself when the label rules the runway next season.