How the Fashion Rumor Mill Went Into Overdrive

At the café, Pisano is wearing black vinyl jeans and a sailor hat, a nod to their past life as a member of the US Navy, which brought them to Italy in 2009. By 2014, thanks to connections forged on HF (“high fashion”) Twitter, the subculture of fashion nerds who worship Martin Margiela and love to argue about design minutiae, they had left the Navy and moved full-time to Milan to work in PR, where they got a crash course in the inner workings of the industry—and how to leverage rumors for one’s own ends. By the time they landed in Paris as an influencer and occasional contributor to French glossy magazines, Pisano had become a leading source of gossip on HF Twitter. “I was in this head space of: let me just blow up on my own. I’m going to say all the shit I need to say about all these brands, all the shit I heard working in PR,” they said. “I just posted all of it.”

I asked Pisano about their sources, which tend to be, shall we say, unreliable. “I live in Paris!” they said. “We all go to the same bars, we all go to the same restaurants. We all get drunk at the same after parties together. And people talk!” “We” means the designers, stylists, and employees of the town’s many fashion houses, all of whom do indeed talk, and Pisano’s feed at times feels like a chaotic transcript of those conversations. Which has occasionally landed them in hot water. Most infamously, in 2022 Pisano posted an unverified rumor about Rihanna and A$AP Rocky’s relationship. The tweet went viral almost instantly—but it wasn’t true. “I’m a big tweet and delete-r,” they said, but this time the damage was done. Their contributor contract with Vogue France was canceled, and fashion week invites dried up.

If anything, the experience of going from insider to outsider has left Pisano even more emboldened. “The good thing that came from that is that there’s no more pretense,” they said. Pisano is an influencer whose brand is built on drama, not on being in the good graces of high-powered fashion PRs “I think that scares them, that I don’t have to play the game that they’re playing,” they said.

Before they left, Pisano told me that they want to move beyond, if not on from, Twitter gossip. Their plan is to expose the truth behind fashion’s most salacious rumors as an investigative journalist. “Bad behavior, corruption, that kind of thing. Illuminating inequality in the industry,” they said. “I want to do those kinds of stories that take a year to do.” Not just a few seconds to tweet.

Still, I had to ask: did Pisano have any good gossip for me that I might have missed? They demurred at first, before dangling a designer transfer that you’ll have to read about on Twitter. I asked Pisano how sure they were about it. “Look,” they said. “If it happens, I was right. And if it doesn’t happen, someone set me up!”

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