GQ recently published a feature about brands that are trying to capitalize on the (justifiable) frustrations directed toward our current president, his administration, and all that they stand for, by churning out, what the story refers to as, “budget resistance-wear.”
If you live in just about any major metropolitan area, you’ve probably seen the stuff: oversized tees and hoodies that are made on the cheap overseas and emblazoned with generic #Resistance terminology like “System,” “Peace” and “Unity”. And, crazily enough, this “fast-fashion wokeness” is actually selling.
But before you spend $16.99 to cop that “jet-black fishtail hoodie” with the word “RESIST” on the chest, it’s probably important to note that the brands responsible for most of this merch believe in exactly none of the messaging.
“We’re not saying that the system is right or wrong. We are just trying to be fashion, not trying to be political,” says Max Bhavnani, founder of the New Jersey based streetwear label, Krome, which was previously known for putting other brands’ popular sneaker details on their shirts. And now, with his new Krome offshoot label, Anarchy, Bhavnani is “combin[ing] gaudy Banksy-lite graffiti and RESISTOR armbands into woke outerwear.”
And while it’s easy to pin the entire opportunistic streak on a guy that makes “apolitical” “fashion” with decidedly political messaging, GQ notes that luxury brands like Versace and Vetements have taken their turn as well.
Ultimately, however, the article concludes that this type of neutered messaging ”cheapens the protest language for everyone who actually believes in the cause. It’s a parasitical relationship: The brands degrade the space they inhabit. When the trend passes, they’ll find some other message to hijack, but the real problems their customers face will remain.”
That they will.
You can read more about it at GQ.