Trends – Why Do We Follow Them?
I never understood why people follow trends. We all know that trends have a short lifespan and then it will be on to the next ‘big thing’. This ‘thing’ being something that some group of individuals somewhere on our planet decided to coin as ‘cool’ and trendy and then everybody follows suit. Yet what about style? Style’s lifespan is infinite and looks good always, not just from ’94 to ’95. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that if some trend happens to exist that you should boycott it and not buy that particular piece but please don’t go to the store just to buy that particular thing because it is the current trend. How lame!!!! Adapt your own style, something that will be permanent to you but could be ever-changing to everyone else!
Now I won’t even talk about the unfortunate square toe phenomenon that plagued our world several years ago and which seems to still trickle down the streams of some of the less informed individuals that occupy America. But I did want to give an example of a trend that occurred that just bothered me and of all the places it could have occurred, it just happened to be in Italy, the fashion capital of the world. Now I have lived in America, England and Italy and therefore can make this statement without stereotyping or being bias; the best dressed men definitely reside in Italy. And this is precisely why this trend bothered me so much.
Before I moved there I went to visit in early 2008 and when I got there I immediately noticed the sea wave of gold Nike’s. It was crazy!! Everywhere there were gold Nike’s on people’s feet, specifically the Air Max ’97. (I mean look at them, they are ugly and I like Nike’s) It was horrendous. Everyone was wearing these gold Nike’s, not just young people. But the event that really shocked me was when I saw a WHOLE family wearing these gold Nike’s, the mother, the father, the kids and even the baby. I couldn’t believe it, it was like I was in the Twilight Zone. It then occurred to me that trends are just so stupid, not only because they can look bad, especially when the trend is something like ugly-ass gold Nike’s, but because of the lack of individuality it creates. When a trend comes around, you start to notice that everybody is wearing the same thing and it’s just sad. Luckily, they’re still are a few individuals out there who understand that blending in is really just the same as looking bad and standing out is what is noticed and recognized as stylish and fashionable. You don’t see The Sartorialist (The Sartorialist ) taking pictures of people that just blend in, he would not be as famous and sought after if he did. He takes pictures of people that stand out from the masses, the people that give creativity a run for it’s money.
I know it’s not always easy creating your own style but the beauty of it is that you can take from other people yet still have it be your own style. I grew up a very observant individual, always looking and listening to others that I thought to be more intelligent, more put together and just plain more admirable. I noticed them and then I took from them, the qualities that I deemed necessary. Part of this was style. I played around with the different options that I could create to see which ones suited my personality and looks. Now, of course, I just have my own style and no longer need to take from others but when trying to give it a go for the first time, this is what you should do if you feel like you would need help. To give an example of what I coined my own style, I will tell you that I always try to mix different genres, colors, styles etc. to put into one outfit. For example, rock/urban, classic/modern, dressy/casual etc. I will try to dress up my Van’s with a button-up/tie combo underneath a zippered-collar sweater or dress down my bespoke shoes with a pair of jeans, things of this nature. My shoes are a perfect example, I took a classic saddle shoe style and added a red flare to it to mix it up and to create shoe that you have never seen anywhere else. Another great example is Andre 3000 from Outkast. He creates his style through mixing and is praised for it by many!
Bottom line: Don’t follow trends, create style!!!!!!!!