Kevin Abstract Talks New Album and Life After Brockhampton at the Prada Show

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An hour before the Prada men’s Fall-Winter 2023 show, Ian Simpson—better known as Kevin Abstract—is sitting in his hotel suite, contemplating his future. “I’m trying to figure out my life,” he says, leaning back into the couch. “My band broke up, and I don’t know what I’m doing.” Ian is referring, of course, to Brockhampton, the hip-hop collective he fronted until November, when the crew released their final album and went separate ways. One can understand why he would now find himself 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 conceived as a boy band for a generation of misfits searching out a form for their excessive creativity. Through the band, he found himself as Kevin Abstract; now, he has to figure out who Ian Simpson is.

What better waypoint on a self-discovery tour than a Prada show? “When Prada called, I was so happy,” Simpson says. Lately, he’s been seeking out scenarios that can tear him out of his LA malaise. “I want to be around things that feel inventive and have inspired me or had some sort of impact on me, no matter what the medium is. I think it adds to the journey of it all. The journey of me accepting that I’m lost, and leaning into being lost,” he says. 

Simpson has been “obsessed” with Prada since last year. “I was in Italy in the summer, and every guy I thought was hot was always Prada-ed out, and I was like—I probably should go buy some Prada.” Today, he’s wearing a dark navy 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’s freezing. Simpson keeps his living spaces as cold as possible, so he can swaddle himself in blankets. For now, a long leather trench coat will have to do—from the slim, hide-heavy Spring-Summer 2023 Prada collection, like the rest of the fit.

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