The Gentlewoman

Merch watch: are you consuming culture as a performative act?



The Gentlewoman x Arket tee

Rachel Cusk and Zadie Smith have become, in effect, literary brands — once their names are removed from the context of a book’s cover and placed on a hat or a tote bag.” Terry Nguyen, New York Times.

The merch machine refuses to die. In fact, I would argue it’s only just getting started. The New York Times recently published this article on literary merch, explaining the relatively new popularity of #litcore caps (and totes and tees) that show allegiance to revered writers while telegraphing the wearer’s (perceived) intellectual superiority. The Guardian calls this “consuming culture as a performative act”, while comedian Dan Rosen simply calls it “liberal cringe” (ouch #guilty).

It’s also rampant in media, with mainstream and niche publications going all out on taste signallers. (more…)



Positive fashion: Nike Re-Creation



Nike Re-Creation upcycled patchwork sweats

Two new initiatives on my radar in the repair and re-wear space.

Nike’s Re-Creation project upcycles deadstock and used clothing into new, lovingly crafted pieces where stains and holes are creatively transformed or carefully camouflaged (below). It’s not an entirely unique approach – lots of small start-ups have used this method – but the execution is more in line with my taste. (more…)



Quote of the day: Gert Jonkers



Gert Jonkers

“I’ve amassed more than 50 Levi’s henley T-shirts from the time they put their logo under the button placket: three buttons, four buttons, long-sleeved, short-sleeved and, the rarest, sleeveless henleys. I rarely wear them, but what does that matter? Maybe they’ll be part of my uniform next summer; maybe I’ll write a book about them. There are clothes for the fantasy of being able to transform into, say, a truck driver or a raver if I suddenly want to.” (more…)



The culture of fashion: what next for magazines?



Document Journal Amoako Boafo Marie Humbert

Out of crisis comes opportunity. We hope.

The Business of Fashion has a story on the future of fashion media, highlighting the struggles for magazines of operating with smaller ad revenues then ever.

There will for sure be casualties but those will likely have been coming for a while. There is just too much content out there and especially now, more short form video, memes, social media and digital newsletters than ever.

I expect the legacy players may go for reduced frequencies of print publications, both to alleviate pressure on printing businesses operating with reduced capacity and in response to market interest. (more…)