The Supreme Clickbait
The world of men’s fashion is a wacky, wild and turbulent place where 10 years ago if you asked a men’s fashion talent for some advice, they’d say, “Yeah, just wear jeans and a t-shirt that fits properly, and you’d be leagues ahead of your average dad just by doing that.”
Nowadays while they exist to some degree, those fashions have ramified and then grown into huge subcultures. They include things like your mainstream business attire, high-fashion, casual wear, streetwear, and all sorts of subgroups under that, including things like your sneakerheads, tech wear, skate wear, pale wave and Ranveer Singh. On the surface, they all seem completely different and confusing, but it’s kind of like how there are a million types of movies, but they’re all built on similar tenets. So, if you break it down into what the actual purpose and/or inspiration of the different trends are, it starts to make some actual sense.
To start with the obvious, take business and formal attire which has literally barely changed for a hundred and twenty-five years besides the Monopoly dude’s hat. A basic two/three-piece suit looks fantastic all the time and the only way it doesn’t, is if it doesn’t fit or you’re wearing it at the wrong place, and that’s the whole point. It’s a super simple yet refined outfit that says “I’m a respectable put together person representing a respectable put together company so sign this contract, print some fake bank receipts and let’s manipulate the stock market.” *cues in the theme of Scam 1992*
In my opinion, this is the point where things get interesting because you get to your casual everyday clothes where you can really express your personality by copying what Bollywood stars are wearing at airports and Punjabi rappers in their music videos.
I think the most noticeable shift recently has been the huge prevalence of streetwear and designer brands gaining popularity with teenagers and young adults. The part that I found the most interesting about some of the street-wear culture is that a lot of unfashionable items are worn ironically where you’re sort of saying, “I know so much about fashion that I’m wearing something I know is unfashionable because in order to identify something so unfashionable you would have to know a lot about fashion.“
There are some brands which seem to have been built almost entirely on the idea of ironic incorporation of uncool items, and I think the most brilliant example of this is Supreme. They were originally a much smaller fast-fashion brand, but effectively they said “Alright, we’re a pretty niche shop with pretty dedicated clients. Do you think people would buy just a regular white tee with a box logo on it for $30?” Well, it turns out they would. And as they got bigger, they said, “Alright, what about something like a lighter?” And that sold out instantly.
But as they kept getting more traction they just said “Screw it.”
Nunchucks? Sold out instantly.
Tennis balls? Sold out instantly.
Fire-extinguisher? Sold out instantly.
And at one point they must have had a conversation that went “All right, what is literally the least useful standalone item we could possibly sell?” and someone must’ve said, “How about a brick?” Supreme was quite big at that time and everything was selling out but would people actually pay $30 for a brick? Of course, the answer was no, they didn’t. Almost no one would pay $30 for a brick. They’d pay $1,000 because it sold out instantly. I had you in the first half, right? The biggest flex would be building a house entirely of Supreme bricks. What is Antilla even?
I think Supreme at that moment was just testing the stupidity of people. They must have had bets amongst themselves “I bet a thousand bucks’ people will not buy, let’s say, a Supreme axe.” And sure enough, that guy lost the bet. Here is some stuff Supreme also sells; Supreme Honda motorbike, Supreme combo lock, Supreme hanging lantern, Supreme fanny pack, Supreme foldable shovel and, I am not even making this up, Supreme cough drops.
The Confusion In Fashion
Once you go deeper into different contemporary fashions, you’ll find some very interesting sub-categorizations. They explore the extremes of other genres and some of them are pretty weird. The most well-known is probably high fashion which does get a lot of criticism for being bizarre. However, it’s really more of an advertising campaign for showing off a designer’s inspiration for upcoming commercial lines than it is for actual practical wear. So, in a way, it’s almost weird by design which is neither here nor there for me. But mostly there, quite out there, not gonna lie.
When we start looking at the niche clothing that people do wear on a day-to-day basis it brings us to some super interesting trends. Of course, a massive group that’s permeated all casual wear are your sneakerheads, and these are the people you might have heard of who watch hours and hours of sneaker reviews on YouTube. Yes, sneaker reviewers do exist. Could there be a job more unnecessary? Oh yes, music critics.
Making Fashion Edgy
“Normcore” is wearing literally your entire outfit ironically, effectively dressing as blandly as possible on purpose.
“All-Black-Everything” is also a pretty solid choice, if you don’t like sorting laundry.
“Pale wave” is a sort of minimalism that centres around a lack of detail and subtle pastel colour palettes. This totally works if you want to blend in nicely with your furniture to avoid unwanted guests at your house.
There’s also “Wear-literally-the-same-thing-everyday” kinda people who claim that they have much more important decisions to make rather than choosing what attire to put on every morning. Just shut up Mark Zuckerberg, it’s not that hard to accept that you have absolutely no sense of fashion. Looking at you too, Steve Jobs.
Lastly, we have “tech wear” which is the most technically advanced clothing possible. Your jacket weighs about 37 micrograms and is resistant to all four seasons simultaneously. Your carbon fibre underwear is completely waterproof from both directions and has a concealed pocket for up to two semi dotted condoms. The entire attire screams “I’LL HACK YOUR DATABASE IF YOU DON’T GIVE ME A CARAMEL COCOA CLUSTER FRAPPUCCINO.”
Now at this point, I’ve barely scratched the surface of all the fashion ideas that are out there. But moving forward all these areas of fashion will continue to evolve in some very interesting and unpredictable ways. Personally, I’ve been trying to pioneer comfy-core which focuses on being as comfortable as possible at all times. The only downside that I’ve realized is that it’s the literal opposite of fashion and usually devolves into you not leaving the house and binging YouTube’s top 10 lists, so you have no Instagram game, but I’ll keep you guys updated.