In April 2019, Project Runway aired an episode in which contestants were challenged to come up with a “head-to-toe” look.
One designer, named Kovid Kapoor, presented a detailed 3D appliqué suit with a matching face mask.
The eery coincidence of a contestant literally named Kovid making an outfit with a matching face mask less than a year before COVID-19 hit the U.S. was not lost on TikTok or Twitter, where a clip of the episode went viral and begged the question: what did Project Runway know in 2019 that we didn’t?
“I think we all love Kovid’s look,” host Karlie Kloss says in the clip, which made rounds on TikTok and Twitter. “Do you mind putting the mask back on?”
“What do you guys think of the mask?” Kloss asks.
“It’s sick,” one person replies off-camera. Oh, the irony.
“Obsessed,” another adds.
“But you must be hot,” judge Elaine Welteroth says. “You should probably take the mask off.”
“We’re in a simulation,” someone on Twitter said in response to the video, which now has almost 3 million views on TikTok alone.
“I GASPED WHEN THEY SAID HIS NAME,” a TikTok commenter said.
“THERE IS A GLITCH IN THE MATRIX,” another added.
In an even weirder twist, a Twitter user looked up Kapoor’s website and found a discounted dress called “Kamala.”
In reality, there is no deep conspiracy, as some commenters genuinely suggested. First of all, the name “Kovid” is a Sanskrit word meaning “intelligence” or “poet.” Also, face masks were very popular in places like Japan, Korea and Singapore prior to the pandemic.
“People have been reaching out calling me an imposter who was ‘paid’ by the government to spread a message,” Kapoor told HuffPost in an interview about the viral clip — a concept the designer said he found very funny.
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