Fashion / Trend

What does the ‘I Told Ya’ shirt mean?

If you haven't yet sat down to watch Luca Guadagnino's latest tennis love-triangle film Challengers, then we'd highly suggest you do. If its leading trio – in Zendaya, Josh O'Connor and Mike Faist – isn't enough to entice you, then perhaps its incredible costuming, courtesy of LOEWE creative director Jonathan Anderson, will be.

It doesn't take a keen eye to notice one particular shirt that's ALL over the film, one which brandishes the bold-type slogan I TOLD YA on the front.

Not only was the t-shirt in the film itself, but Anderson has serially dressed its stars and even Guadagnino himself in the shirt for premieres and press tour photo opps. If you're wondering what it means, and the story behind the slogan, then we are here to explain.


Where did it come from?

The shirt is based off of a t-shirt that John F. Kennedy Jr. donned back in the 90s. The late president's son was snapped by paparazzi wearing the shirt, which referenced the 'I Told You So' buttons created to mark the inauguration of his father, John F Kennedy, in the 1960 presidential election. The buttons, which featured a photo of the US Capitol and the slogan "I Told You So" were worn by Kennedy supports as a victory proclamation.


What does it mean?

According to Anderson, the reference to JFK Jr. was intentional, sharing that he looked to his 80s and 90s style as inspiration for the character of Patrick (played by O'Connor). In particular, it was JFK Jr.'s "old-money nonchalance" and "effortlessness" that impacted Patrick's aesthetic.

"He could wear anything, and sex appeal would always be there," Anderson told WWD. "I felt like [Patrick] should not care how he looks because, ultimately, he is not endorsed, he is not the biggest star in tennis, so his look becomes a bit ad-hoc and stuck together. But when you look at the base parts of his attire, he has very aged, expensive things, including an old wallet that’s still very expensive, though it’s falling apart."


Can I buy it?


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LOEWE have just released their own capsule collection centred on the slogan, which is available in both t-shirt ($475AUD) and sweatshirt ($990AUD) styles in grey and white. If you're looking to pick up the most if-you-know-you-know designer item of the moment, 'The Challengers' collection – featuring the I TOLD YA shirt is available to purchase from select stores and the LOEWE website now.

In typical Anderson fashion, the marketing campaign for the collection reenacts the original paparazzi photos of John F. Kennedy Jr.


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