Over the years, an obvious continental divide has existed in menswear between American, English & Italian style– but is it rapidly shrinking? Is global fashion largely replacing long-standing traditional dressing and style? Not all of it is intentional either. It’s also that a lot of guys just don’t know or care. How many fathers teach their sons how to dress properly? I think it’s safe to say that those conversations aren’t happening anymore. The home-fires seem to be burning out, as more and more guys are being swallowed up by the– shirt always untucked, nothing fits, nothing matters, can’t even stand up straight, I’m lucky to have even got out of the house dressed, square-toed shoe wearing, bad style fog.
The world is getting smaller everyday, that’s just a fact we have to live with. Fashion & media influences now move at break-neck speed, and it seems like a lot of cultural flavor & integrity is in danger of getting lost, as we all seem to be moving largely in the same direction. More than ever, product is finding it’s way into brands where it doesn’t belong– even classic brands that in the past were very diligent in regard to their positioning, are getting loose. Ironically, even a lot of the “brand heritage” reissues that are all the rage, seem to reflect today’s fashion interpretation of heritage, rather than actual history itself– because “heritage” is a buzz word that sells right now.
In short, product homogenization and co-opting is openly happening worldwide, and at an alarming rate. I’m not saying it’s all bad– a healthy chunk of classic American style that we know and love today was actually borrowed from somewhere else. The Japanese in turn have swallowed up American and English style (and are moving on to the Italians). American hipsters are looking at the Japanese for how to look, well, American. Not surprising– the Japanese are good at taking our toys and making them better. The whole thing is getting a little too convoluted these days for my taste.
Everything is moving so fast– how much thought is being given to the long-term? –By anyone?
Brands need to mind the shop, not just the register– or we’re going to end up with a big, tasteless stew.