In 2010, I watched The Pacific, an HBO WWII miniseries produced by Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg. Today all I can remember about it is being completely transfixed by Rami Malek’s performance as the completely, quietly fucked-up Snafu. It was one of those “This guy could be the best actor of his generation” kind of moments. Then, to paraphrase Douglas Adams, for a while, nothing happened. Then, after a while longer, nothing continued to happen.
Last year we did an icons prospectus. Rami Malek wasn’t on it. Two weeks later, Mr. Robot premiered. Then everyone started to realize what was obvious to anyone who’d seen him in 2010. Then he started showing up to awards shows looking better than everyone else.
Last week’s release of the Mr. Robot season 2 trailer reminded me that we at Kempt need to confirm Malek’s future-icon status immediately.
Our style icons usually benefit from seeing their sartorial triumphs through a tightly curated, impossibly cool, rose-tinted lens—especially if they lived in a generally more stylish era.
Which makes it tough for guys of our generation, like Pharrell Williams.
We’ve watched Mr. Williams grow into a pretty stylish fellow over the years, while being good for producing at least one “song of summer” each summer for the past decade—which is surely the sort of thing that will be looked back upon as iconic. But at this point in his sartorial career, we can still only speculate whether he’ll be a first-ballot style icon or not. There have been good signs so far: designing clothing with the likes of Mark McNairy. And glimmers of brilliance: making tailoring choices that might even have Thom Browne blushing. But he’s not there yet. (Partially due to the fact that he’s only 40.) He’s close, though, and we think we can help.