I Told Ya, It’s Loewe!


Photo courtesy of Mitchell Nugent. T-shirt by Loewe.

When my mother was a teenager in the late 1970’s, her favorite pastime was to escape the nuns of Julie Billart high school and flock to Boston Common, where she would sunbathe in between classes. Turning like a rotisserie chicken, she would bake for hours, stirring only to slather on Coppertone, spark up a joint, or gawk at the strapping young Adonis-types roughhousing in the park. During one fateful hooky session, my mom spotted John F. Kennedy, Jr., the extraordinarily handsome son of President John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, tossing around a football with friends. In that moment, she recalls him being shirtless and sweaty, the perfect specimen. Kennedy, a frequent target of the tabloids, was often photographed during such displays of athleticism, glistening with the might of an Olympian and the sheepish confidence of a German Shepherd. 

Since I was a child, JFK, Jr. has been my ultimate crush. As a Massachusetts native, I inherited the same affinity for the Kennedy troupe most New Englanders do, admiring their political prowess, chiseled cheekbones, and Marilyn Monroe liaisons like they were royalty. Their Hyannis Port compound was my version of Buckingham Palace—John, Jr. was my king. On an Instagram post I shared of the late political scion a few years back, the actress Jennifer Coolidge, who grew up a few towns over from me, expressed her own devotion for the hunk:  “My girlfriend and I grew up with him as our generational icon,” she commented. “We always thought he was the only perfect #10.”


In a cinematic wet dream, Jonathan Anderson, the creative director of Loewe and costume designer of director Luca Guadagnino’s Challengers, looked to Kennedy when conceptualizing the wardrobe of Josh O’Connor’s character, Patrick Zweig. In the film, the fictional tennis player is a smart alec who has the same put-your-dick-on-the-table energy that John, Jr. oozes in the vintage pap shots, the costuming reflecting a casual yet divisive look that drips with sweaty sexuality. In a direct nod to Kennedy, Anderson recreated a t-shirt that JFK, Jr. once wore back in 1997 emblazoned with the three words: “I TOLD YA.” Worn by both O’Connor and Zendaya’s respective characters in the film, the tee, which is being sold by Loewe in conjunction with the film’s release, reflects each character’s self-pride, becoming the perfect symbol of irony and the ultimate sartorial homage to Kennedy, Jr. that says, they’re sexy and they know it.