Why geeks should "get" fashion

Supreme x Pokemon cross over. Geek + Street + Skating ;)
This post is about something I've been pondering for a while, why the really really insanely unique minds in the geek culture aren't getting involved in creating awesome clothes for people like them? Why don't geeks get into fashion design? We are definitely smart enough to do literally anything we can think of, what is it about fashion that makes classic tech nerds avoid it?

I work in an extremely technical industry (the computer/software/hacker/breaker/maker technical industry), that means I work with a lot of "nerds" who aren't considered the most "trendy" people. Now I totally totally get why these kinds of extremely intelligent people would not swoon every-time supreme makes a cross over with adidas lol here are a couple of reasons:

  • "nerds" or extreme intellectuals see "normal" people mindlessly following fashion trends, not advertising ANY internal processing of the trend or the color scheme or why they are wearing certain stuff and being people who are very very intelligent, knowing the value of internally processing things and developing your own data on a concept and how powerful and rewarding that is; they are people who value expression of individualism; These people see the absolutely mindless, un-inspired behavior of the masses of people following fashion trends and they feel it would be a betrayal of themselves to do the same thing. You cannot claim to be an intellectual and make non-individual choices. 
  • "nerds" don't understand why certain trends become popular and as we know people don't like things they don't understand. 
  • "nerds" don't follow popular culture, and most fashion trends are based on reflections of things in popular culture (now more than ever!). So when people start wearing metal band t-shirts, dad caps and 90s jump suits with basic vans they don't understand why that's cool they never followed the trends back then so there's no connection to it when people do a throwback trend!
  • Following trends make you cool in high school, cool people in high school often bully or look down or general make "nerds" feel like hammered shit in high school so it would be a naturally reaction to antagonize people follow trends after being tormented by them for years while you are going through puberty which is already kinda crappy. (this is actually personally why i didn't start wondering about "fashion" trends until much much later in my young adult life)
  • Very very popular people in fashion and other popular hysterical fame inducing industries can be total assholes and just have undesirable selfish greedy personalities because of their extreme lifestyles. Some of them can be quite elitist too! But that is not something unique to the fashion industry whether you are a serial killer or a catholic monk there are always people in your profession who are more assholy (joke about christianity hehe) than others! Its just how people are!
There are probably a couple more reasons I could think up but basically it is not some gene that we share that makes us want to be "unfashionable" there are strong, common, psychological reasons for it. And I totally agree with you guys, if that is what fashion was all about "being like everyone else" then I would not waste my time thinking about it either. But thats just it, fashion "trends" are actually because of a mis-conception people have about the core values of being fashionable (at least to me). Fashion trends are the result of an industry, not actually a result of fashion itself. Let me break that statement down:

  1. Fashion (or at least clothing fashion) is the practice of expression yourself and your culture through what you wear.
  2. A trend is when people all do the same exact thing
  3. Industry is about making products or innovations or luxuries available to masses of people for a price. 
So When a lot of people wear the same thing does that mean that they are all from the same culture, have the same opinion on something or want to express themselves in exactly the same way? No it means they are being stupid and wearing what ever famous people and magazines tell you to wear! Although if a fashion trend is based on something that is a somewhat common experience and someone is too lazy to turn that into their own unique expression of that experience then I sorta get it but don't condone giving up the opportunity to express yourself just because you are lazy lol. 

But the really awesome stuff that fashion is about has nothing to do with that it happens before all of that trend shit happens and once you get that about fashion you really start to understand it and how to appreciate what certain people are doing in the industry. Here's are two really strong reason Fashion is not about trends a reason everyone can vibe with: 

Do you remember when you realized hoodies were cool? or When you saw someone wearing Jordans the very first time and you thought woaw those look really awesome? I'm not talking about jealousy or wishing you came up with that I mean the feeling that makes you say "wow that is a really cool idea to wear that thing that way". What if you experienced that all the time? isn't that feeling insane? how insane would it be to create that feeling in other people with literally everything you ever wear? Thats what this is about! Its one thing to see someone implement a set of fashion trends in a way that makes them look cool. Its fucking mind blowing to see someone wear something you have never seen before and make it look cool. I don't know about you but seeing someone flex something no-one else has thought of an pull it off like a boss will always be an earth shattering experience to me. 

Its the same thing as seeing a new 0day that is super super cool for instance; remember when you first heard how heap overflow exploits work (the "houses" article in Phrack), when you read Alpeh one's famous article the first time or you heard Blackhat talk about how Barnaby Jack made an ATM do insane things. That mind blowing experience happens in my head exactly the same way when I see someone combined textures, colors and cultural throwbacks in a fuckin' epic way. I have began to appreciate that experience in an abstract way. Thats all this is really.  A progressive abstract way to be a geek i.e. applying your geekyness to literally everything you can because you realize how cool being a geek actually is and how it can super charge any experience you have in life.

Because I recognize that as evidence of true intelligence, in fact the only thing that can prove intelligence to me is the ability to come up with a unique idea! And any instance of that is cool, because intelligence to me transcends the boundaries of its context and is capable of possessing any form: art, science, fashion, music, dance, etc. Fashion just like literally anything in life is an opportunity to make unique intellectual expression. An opportunity to provide evidence that mankind is growing, and changing and becoming better how can you not wanna be a part of that? 

So I think I've made a strong point as to why anyone can and should get into expressing yourself with what you wear i.e. designing fashion. But why should specifically computer/gaming/hacking/making/breaking geeks get into it? Well because we are awesome people and because our culture and quirky coolness is something that I believe can benefit the intellectual health of the entire world! What makes geeks cool is their ability get dug into something and expose hacks and quirks that no one else would have thought of they can really become wonderfully passionate about something and being able to do that uplifts your experience of life tremendously! Its something I think we need to share with the world, we have a chance to join a global communication platform, a chance to disseminate our ideas on life and how we believe it should be lived.  Plus the stuff we are into is really really cool! 

Have you played Pokemon on GBA before, Super Mario Bros? Have you ever made your ftp server drop a shell or written your friend a kernel that wishes them happy birthday (i.e a whole operating system developed from the ground up just to print some text to the screen that wishes your friend happy birthday hehe I came up with that ;)? Everyone should know about this awesome stuff! And putting it on a t-shirt, a pair of shoes or a hat is the way you can instantly send that idea across the world in way that embeds itself on street life and urban culture it immediately become part of us part our lives!  We literally live inside that expression on a daily basis when we do that! And it would show other people that they can do that! How sick is that? 

Anyway all I'm trying to say is if I saw more Pokemon denim heirloom jackets, Dragonball Z hoodies, and Super Mario bros vans sneakers and hacker joke T-shirts the world would be a much much more epic place! 

Here's some examples of fashionable concepts that cross over popular and geek culture. Some of which I came up with hehe:

A Pokemon heirloom jacket concept I designed
Some Pokemon badges I used to have on my laptop bag 
Throwback to the classic Gold's Gym t-shirts popularized by the body building industry cross over with dragonball z a cartoon filled with muscular super powerful characters and animated physiques that inspired many many body building careers in the 2000s 

Me in front of that weird building near Yerba Buena gardens looking like Ash Ketchum stole a capsule corp hoodie from bulma. This combination I thought would connect me with folks who had a very similar childhood as me, growing up with Pokemon and Dragonball z.  Plus I was hunting Pokemon that day :) 

Some Pokemon x supreme swag for my skateboard. This is really special because I actually use that skate board for playing Pokemon go and getting to work. Its a celebration that we have combined two very different things in sub-culutre that would never have worked before a gameboy game and a skate/street clothing brand! I also like the idea of it being a crazy colorful collage it makes it look even more childish which is what pokemon gain reminds me of. The chaos of a collage is also what childhood memories "feel" like to me, hazy, lossy snippets of memories. 

This is a dust/pollution mask themed after the Joker from Batman. Great expression of the insanity of the fact that industries we create are actually iatrogenically destroying our ability to do the most naturally thing we do... breathe! It ties back to the joker because he often kills people by gassing them to death with laughing gas. Here the gas is produced by factories and the laughing by the insanity of not being able to breath our air because of our greed.  The joker's crazy laughing is an expression of his inability to deal with the atrocities of modern society incase you didn't "get" that hehe

One of my favorite dad caps! The "Original Gangster" Pokemon go cross over. The concept here is that the cap reminds people of Pokemon go with which is a brand new concept in popular culture with a slang that is very very old being an "original gangster". An original gangster is usually someone who is an urban sub-culture pioneer, someone who was into it before everyone else was! For instance Snoop Dogg is the classic OG! He is a gangster rap OG, a pot culture OG and just in general being cool in cool ways OG. Pokemon is a very old trend and you gotta be a true 90s kid to get it so if you are playing Pokemon go and you have been playing Pokemon games all your childhood you are essentially a Pokemon go "Original Gangster".  There... now you get it too ;)