Clips from a 2019 episode of “Project Runway” have been making the rounds on Twitter and TikTok after fans noticed that the show has a wild connection to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Season 17 of the fashion design show, which aired in 2019, included a designer named Kovid Kapoor. One of the challenges during the season was called “Head To Toe,” which called for contestants to create a printed design that was featured, well, head to toe.
Kapoor’s design for the challenge eerily evokes a look that would become all too common just a year later. In a red plaid design, Kapoor created a suit with an accompanying face mask.
A year later, people on social media can’t help but notice how Kapoor’s garment foreshadowed a look we’d all be sporting in 2020, and how similar his name is to the virus COVID-19. (A name used in Indian culture, Kovid is actually a Sanskrit word meaning “intelligent or poet.”)
Additionally, two of the hosts of the show repeatedly called Kapoor’s plaid mask outfit “sick.” A TikTok of the exchange from user @Joanschumachermartin went viral over the weekend.
People have periodically recalled Kapoor’s appearance and design on Twitter over the last year, with one particular fan garnering the attention of “Runway” host Karlie Kloss.
Of his appearances in TikTok and tweets, Kapoor told HuffPost he smiles “every time the videos recirculate.”
“It was a fraction in time and yet it has become an integral part of my identity as an immigrant in America,” he shared via email, referencing his immigration from India in 2014. He also added that ever since COVID-19 came into the zeitgeist, “people have been reaching out calling me an imposter who was ‘paid’ by the government to spread a message.”
He says he finds humor “in such claims,” a feeling he echoed on Twitter with his crying-laughing emoji in response to the TikTok of his design.
Kapoor, who will be launching his very first collection in February 2021, also told HuffPost that it’s been “very interesting to see how fate plays itself out” and truly “had no idea that the mask thing would blow up.”
“At the end of the day whatever gets people talking about you or your work is worth it,” he said.