Rising New York author R.J. Hernandez is challenging the archetypal fashion narrative through his breakout novel, An Innocent Fashion, which follows the story of a disillusioned intern named Ethan St. James, who’s chasing his dream of climbing the industry ladder. Having just graduated from Yale with a community marked by love and laughter, Ethan enters the adult world innocently, assuming fashion will welcome him with equally open arms—it doesn’t.
“The title An Innocent Fashion operates on a few levels,” Hernandez explains. “While people might approach the book understanding that ‘fashion’ references the fashion industry, I wanted to create a short film that cues them into the other meaning, dealing with coming of age and the loss of innocence.”
Ahead of the novel’s July 5 release, we’re thrilled to share a filmic preview directed by Greg Swales, below. Because An Innocent Fashion is written as a contrasting back-and-forth between Ethan’s colorful college memories and stark experiences in a magazine office, the short juxtaposes hyper-nostalgic visuals against the protagonist’s somber present-day voice.
“We fancied ourselves bohemians,” he begins, as his friends all “yell, stumble, bust things up”—a stylized scene seemingly lifted from the saturated dream world of pre-fall Gucci. Featured actors include Prada exclusive Barbara Valente, Instagram star Keisuke Asano, nightlife Queen Maya Monès and top model Jacob Morton.
Enjoy the BULLETT premiere, below: