The reason I was pumped to cover Coco’s first show for her label Licious at New York Fashion Week had nothing to do with the clothes. Honestly, I just wanted to see her ass in person. It’s kind of like war. People can try and tell you about it, you can look at pictures and read books about it, but until you see it in person, you won't understand it. And once you do come face-to-face, or face-to-booty, with it, you'll never be the same.
I should concede that Coco is a little bit more (but not much more) than dangerously large boobs and a donkey butt. She is also the media maven who used her marriage with Ice-T as a jumping-off point to a career that's the envy of every reality TV "star." She’s appeared in the pages of Playboy, had a cameo on Law & Order: SVU, and, of course, co-starts with her husband on their own show Ice Loves Coco on E!. And now she's got a new fashion brand that is dedicated to making sure curvy women are never without spandex animal prints.
I was a little nervous. I’d never been to a fashion show, let alone one put on by a designer whose claim to fame is that her butt is made with 100 percent real booty-juice. Would the show devolve into a striptease? Would Ice-T recognize I was a real G and invite me onstage to recite the first verse from “Colors” or a monologue from New Jack City? Or would I just take a bunch of pictures of Coco to use for those late lonely nights when a man’s only solace is found in a bottle of Jergens and a fistful of napkins?
Actually, the event turned out even stranger than I ever could have imagined. The clothes were good, the vibe was super fun, and by the end of the night I found myself backstage in Coco’s dressing room getting the stankiest of all stink eyes from my pimp hero, Ice-T.
The show was in Midtown Manhattan, like a lot of Fashion Week events. On my way, I ran into these ladies walking down the street and decided to follow them. Judging by their hourglass shapes, I figured they knew where to go. Plus, uh, you can't really go wrong when you're walking behind chicks like these.
There was a big line outside with lots of fashionable people and only a handful of douchebags, which is a rare ratio for events like this that have velvet ropes, bouncers, and a queue. I was surprised at how many black people were there, but then again, we love white women with big butts. Sorry, that's one of those stereotypes that turns out to be true—why else would every black celebrity be trying to nab them a Kardashian?
There was a red carpet with people on it. I guess they were famous because people were taking lots of pictures of them and freaking out. I have no idea who these folks were. Then again, I haven't watched BET since that Boondocks episode from a few years back. I decided to try and take a picture of these celebrities, whoever they were, because that is what I was expected to do as journalist. Unfortunately, I couldn't get through all the photogs.
When I got to my seat, I was pretty bummed to realize that a lot of other magazines had stood Coco up on her big night. Those bastards. I was most dissappointed in Bust. Its very name is embodied in everything that Coco does. She has a big bust... She makes a lot of dudes bust... You get the idea. Curvy ladies need love out here, Bust. You guys should have been there. Now, the only thing people will hear about this show is my booty-focused account. His-story wins again!
While I was waiting for the show to start, I surveyed the audience. I caught these ladies from across the room. Are they famous? If so, reality TV fans, please respond in the comments. They seemed famous, but you never can tell these days. It's kind of like being gay. I was mistaken for liking a little sausage in my tea two times by girls while I was at the show. One lady sitting behind me said out loud that I looked like I enjoyed it when the guy sitting next to me accidently rubbed his ass on my thigh. But it's not a big deal to me. There's nothing wrong with liking dicks in your butt, it's just weird that if you are a dude at a fashion show people just assume that you like other dudes.
OK, that aside—these dudes are gay, right? And they're fucking killing it. Black people are more fashionable than white people and gay dudes are more fashionable than straight dudes, so combine the two and it just ain't even fair.
Just before the show was about to start, I met this guy. His name is Graig Weich and he's an illustrator who created a comic featuring Coco as a superhero. He explained that her character "has the power of seduction to control men like puppets."
He was so excitied to tell me about the comic, he didn't realize the show was starting up. He insisted on taking my number so he could send me info about the comic. As everyone was whipping their cameras out to take pictures of the runway models, he was taking a picture of me to log into his phone with my number, because having just my number alone wasn't good enough. It was so awkward it made me laugh out loud. Keep being a werido Graig, you're making the world a better place.
Skip this part if you don't want to get caught up in my male gaze, but I thought Coco's clothes were pretty awesome, if only for the fact that they looked really comfortable because of their stretchy material, yet they were very sexy and revealing at the same time. For curvy women who struggle finding things that fit right, they're perfect. Maybe the collection was a little tacky, but I find tacky to be a turn-on because I'm a lowlife. The clothes are definitely in the vein of the stuff I would imagine that Coco wears, but they are probably cheaper and lower in quality. The collection seemed really focused on mixing patterns and textures like animal print and sequins. And she paired all her clothes with super high heels, which is great because I am totally for all women ditching flats and flip flops and anything remotely comfy—while I wear sneakers with air in the soles. There was certainly a stripper vibe to the Licious show, but it was classy stripper. Like the kind of place where it's OK to watch the girls get naked and spin around a pole because they make more money from tips in a month than you do in a year.
I took a lot of pictures of the show, which you can see in the photo gallery at the top. But I was most interested in the butts. This one isn't that bodacious, but it's got a nice shape especailly at the bottom, where it has a little cusp. That element is key in a nice butt.
Look at that! Ah man, that's nice. A lot of people (as you can see here) were nonplussed by the presence of all these giant-assed women strutting around in "clothes" like this. Shirtless tatted dude has the right idea though; look how happy he is! And he might not even like vaginas!
I don't think I need to explain why I took this photo.
And just when I thought all of the ass had passed, I saw her. Coco! I felt like Frodo Baggins or some shit. You know: "One ass to rule them all..."
She strutted down the catwalk and then she ripped apart her black cape to reveal...
More animal print! And of course her giganto bazumbas. She (or maybe her bazumbas) recieved a standing ovation. So many in the crowd were devout fans of her, even the members of the press. It was like Oprah was up there.
After the show, I ran into one of the first models to hit the catwalk. This gorgeous lady's name is Diana Falzone, and she's actually one of Coco's best friends. She's also a reporter for FOX News, which is appropriate.
I asked her what she thought of the Licious collection and she said, "I think her clothes are beautiful. Even though I'm a petit girl, I have a lot of curves [note: no kidding]. So it is hard to find clothes that fit right. But these fit to a T. It makes you feel like Jessica Rabbit—a complete woman."
I hustled my way backstage and I found Coco taking pictures and doing interviews. People were surrounding her to see, I guess, what she had to say. Or just to graze their hands against her famous derriere, like pilgrims touching a holy relic at the end of their journey.
I wasn't mad this little dude jumped in front of me. Look at the wonder in his eyes as he gazes up at Coco's magnificent melons.
Remember our comic book friend Graig Weich? He really wanted to get a picture with Coco too, seeing as how he had made a comic about her and all. I felt bad but couldn't help but laugh at how he kept getting shit on by all the pushy media people. He eventually got his pic, though, and was shown genuine love from Coco, which was awesome and heart warming to see.
I was lucky because I had become pretty friendly with Coco's PR guy Soulgee McQueen (seriously), who I am told is featured on the reality show. He told me to stick with him and I would get an intimate interview with Coco in a quiet, less crazy place, so I hung around.
After a few more photo ops, Coco's people kicked all the smarmy writers out so that they could shoot a scene for Ice Loves Coco. I guess this pic is a sneak peek of what you'll see next season. I was hanging with my main man Soulgee, so nobody asked me to split.
Reality TV shows are scripted and phony, but I felt electricity between these two. Their love seems pretty genuine to me. But I still probably wouldn't watch the show with the sound on.
After the filming, Coco ducked into her dressing room in the back of the club for a costume change. Because Soulgee was going in there, I went in too. When I realized she was about to strip down, it kind of blew my mind. She asked Soulgee if anyone could see her changing, and he assured her no, even though I was standing RIGHT there like two feet from her. The only thing I can think is that maybe they thought I was gay, so no one cared that I was just hanging out. Whatever. I really wanted to straight up gawk at her as she switched out her top and everything, but I was raised too well by my mom to do that. At the end of the day, I am a gentleman. So I stared at the floor and angled by body so that I could possibly catch a little glimpse of flesh out of the corner of my eye. I didn't really see anything, but it's an experience I'll be replaying in my mind for quite awhile. I mean I was in Coco's dressing room. She's like a modern day Marilyn Monroe for hood dudes who wear True Religions. I felt blessed.
The pic above was taken immediately after she had changed clothes, just before our quick interview.
VICE: So, what was the thought process behind the Licious collection?
Coco: I'm not the ordinary go-by-the-season girl. If you look at what I wear yearly, it's a mixture of colors, prints, stripes, and polka dots. It's never a "you have to wear green this month, and white that month." That's just my personality and I think there are a lot of other people out there that are just like me. So this was just an expression of me and who I am so that people can rock the clothes that wear in real life.
You have an incredible body, but one that many designers don't necessarily design for. Did you make Licious because it is hard for you find clothes that fit?
Yes, definitely. Licious is all about stretch, spandex, and comfortable cotton. It's never going to have polyester or feature confining materials that don't stretch. People like me have a hell of a time finding clothes. I'm short. I'm five-two. It takes me forever to find pants that fit. I'll pay umpteen dollars for a pair of pants then have to go get alterations to take it up in the waist and up in the leg. It's a pain in the butt. But my line fits the curvy body perfectly.
So, are you only going to wear Licious from now on?
Everybody asks me that. But I like to change it up. I wear my clothes, but I like to mix it up.
What's the next step for Licious?
I would like to make shoes and heels someday.
Who's your favorite shoe designer?
I'd have to say Louboutin. Only because he has the highest heel. If someone came out with a higher heel, I don't care if it was $20 or $2,000—I'm there. The higher the better.
You use a lot of animal print and sequins. Has that been a part of your style for a long time?
Oh forever. I was like a tomboy in school playing football, but I was always rocking girly clothes. If you saw me a back in the day, I totally looked boyish except for my outfits.
You played a lot of hip-hop during the show. How has the culture of hip-hop impacted your fashion and Licious?
I'm Coco's World. I'm not hip-hop world, I'm not R&B world. I'm Coco's world. If Coco's World reflects hip-hop, so be it. But I'm for everybody. I'm not racist. Our brand motto is "Anything Is Possible in Coco's World."
Right after the interview, Ice-T barged into the dressing room. I was standing there with my arm around his wife, posing for a picture. The picture above is not from that moment, it's from earlier in the day. I couldn't get a picture of the look he gave as he caught me standing there because I may have actually been turned to stone momentarily. But I can assure it was the coldest, most gangster glance ever. He basically tore me a new asshole with one look that said, "Who the fuck is this nappy-headed kid with his arm around my chick?" At that moment, I knew it was time to go. But not before taking some sexy shots of my favorite model from the show, Jem Sika.
Get it girrrrlllll!
Check VICE throughout the rest of the week for more from Wilbert on what’s happening during one of the most vacuous and awe-inspiring events that fussy New Yorkers take part in twice a year.