We never expected it to reach this level. We never thought our flag would wind up at New York Fashion Week.
A flag in this case isn’t a symbolic piece of cloth that flies over schools, parades and government buildings. A flag is a term that refers to the name of a newspaper that appears on its front page. The New York Times is a flag. So is The Washington Post. It’s that fancy gothic lettering that says the name of the paper.
Our flag at fashion week is The Unknown Hoya. It’s the name of an underground newspaper two buddies and I did in high school in the 1980s at Georgetown Preparatory School, a Jesuit school in Maryland. Last year we put our flag on a t-shirt, and now the shirt has appeared at fashion week. Fletch, the guy I co-edited the paper with, has familial connections to some models appearing at the show—his daughter is a successful teen model. We sent her, the agent and mom to NYC with a box of shirts. We won’t make it on the runway, but backstage among the Thom Browne, Elena Velez and Lisa Von Tang designs, some of the world’s most glamorous models are flying our flag. Michael Kors, Coach, Dolce & Gabbana, Chanel, Alexander McQueen, Chloé—and The Unknown Hoya. Our font is gothic, like most newspapers. We did it out of a cut-and-paste kit we bought at People’s Drug Store in 1983.
It’s funny, but to us crashing fashion week also symbolizes something vital—the importance of defiance, even adolescent defiance, as a voice of truth, humor and sanity. The Unknown Hoya shirts are a flag against cancel culture and a vote for fun, dissent and critical thinking. The sheet has powerfully come to represent these thingsto us because it was a part of one of the most vicious political hits in modern American history. The paper resurfaced in 2018, during the explosive Brett Kavanaugh nomination. I was friends with Brett in high school, and was a prime target of the corrupt media and the left during the that battle. They also tried to use The Unknown Hoya.
The DNC were using opposition researchers, corrupt reporters, a fake rape assertion and even an attempted honey trap to bring us down, but also as part of “reporting the controversy,” the media unearthed our paper. Reporters combed through a 1980s stapled-together sheet,trying to find clues about girls, drugs and keg parties. They reported that we tried to drink 100 kegs our senior year (we succeeded, which wasn’t reported).
Ian Shapira described The Unknown Hoya in The Washington Post: “The Unknown Hoya, an underground newspaper at Georgetown Preparatory School in the early 1980s, prided itself on its coverage of the crude. One issue featured a photo of a student vomiting into a toilet and an article laced with slurs against girls at the nearby Holton-Arms School in Bethesda, Md. The same issue also pitched a new school song that included a joke about rape and paeans to kegs of beer. Another issue reportedly carried photos of a bachelor party the seniors threw for a teacher that featured a stripper.”
As one high school buddy put it about this garbage, “This reads like the indictment at a Soviet show trial.” (Also, there was no joke about rape despite what the Post says.) As for Fletch, he came out with one of the funniest lines to emerge from the entire nightmare. While senators were on Capitol Hill and the media were on cable examining the Unknown and the parties, sex, and goofy haircuts we reported on, Fletch called me and asked: “Is it too late to print a retraction?”
There will be no retractions. The Stasi left wanted to kill us, but we also had supporters telling us to lay low, not shove our keggers, strippers, and National Lampoon attitude in people’s faces.
We said get bent. We put The Unknown Hoya on a t-shirt. Fashion week is exactly where it belongs. Ironically, in 2018 CNN tried to bury me with a hit piece about some photography I’ve done. The reporter wrote that I liked shooting “fresh-face, buxom young women.” The models I photographed were hounded by the press, and they defended me. They told the losers at the Post and Times that the only thing I was guilty of is loving beautiful women and wanting to create art.
Those women are now flying our flag.