*Jerry Seinfeld voice* What’s the deal with Jerry Seinfeld modeling for Kith?
Shot by renowned photographer Mark Seliger, the comedian and Queens College alumni is starring in Kith’s new fall collection, some of which was developed with Russell Athletic for The City University of New York (CUNY), Queens College, and Brooklyn College. Designed by Kith founder Ronie Fieg, who was raised in Queens, the latest streetwear drop includes hoodies, crewnecks, sweatpants and other items that seemingly have no business on the body of Jerry Seinfeld.
Now, I’ve never found Seinfeld particularly attractive. Maybe once upon a time at the height of his youthful Seinfeld success, before I knew he dated a 17-year-old in his late 30s and made transphobic jokes in his little car with his little coffee, I could’ve found his sense of humor hot. Yet, here the internet is on a regular Tuesday morning, debating whether Jerry, or rather Jerome, is actually cool and even awkward-hot now.
Reactions to the selection of Jerome, of all people, as the face for the cult-y, overly self-serious destination for hypebeasts range from “fly fuck boy” and “the most important thing you’ll see today” to “none of the fits hit.” And to be fair, I see all of it. The photos have a certain je ne sais quoi to them—perhaps of a rebellious, oft creepy, and partially-retired middle-aged man who will request that I remove my shoes before entering his home only to put his mud-stained sneaks on the back of his leather chair and whisper, “Getta load of these bad boys!!!!” Staring at these images evokes a distant memory, as though I may be standing on the edge of a lecture about the purity of typewriters or having irrelevant Aristotle quotes recited to me from a first-edition book from his mantle. I feel at once both repelled and intrigued.
Such is the irony of the “ugly-hot”/”awkward-hot” men trend: Men of a particular off-putting aura are landing coveted castings and brand campaigns, turning the tables on everything we once understood to be desirable. This photoshoot could’ve been handed to someone like Angus Cloud, an innate hypebeast who requires no convincing or debate or internal panic. Instead, we find ourselves gazing at a 68-year-old comedian in a hoodie and sweatpants, wondering, “Are these images…working? Or did the shrooms just hit?”
I am both hoping that this bad trip soon comes to an end and nursing a strange tingling in my stomach. Is it an attraction? Is it discomfort? Or is it just intrigue over the fact Kith took a risk on a relatively un-sexy older man who has narrowly escaped cancellation?