I have doubts this will ever get put up anywhere except my own blog because I’ll end up firing shots at any of the sites that would post my writing. Also this ain’t a slideshow or list, so that cuts the chances of publication in half from the get-go.
The #Menswear scene is currently stuck in a internet self-congratulatory circlejerk. With only a small handful of originality to go off of, bloggers are stuck with their thumbs up their asses trying to come up with their next list of top fifty menswear designers’s assistant’s girlfriends who drink coffee on the LES on odd days of the month. There is a black hole sucking up any original ideas, never to be seen again, and this black hole is the hashtag illuminati of editors and popular bloggers that are stuck on the notion that if its not a list or slideshow it won’t get page views. Which is a self reinforcing notion because nobody is gonna post anything but slideshows and lists now that the sites they read are doing it. Most of the editors, writers, and bloggers are just gonna take the easy way out (don’t try and say it ain’t easy way out because I will call you liar) and post more lists of top fifty whathaveyou or the latest streetstyle (for which a whole ‘nother rant is needed to talk about the uselessness of a thousand pictures of the same person from every angle by fifty photographers). This means the rare post more than five hundred words long is gonna get the instant “TL;DR” treatment, even if its written by Hunter Thompson’s ghost himself. Any notion of actual journalism or coverage that isn’t during a fashion week somewhere reads exactly the same; something along the lines of “Heres a brief writeup of what we thought while looking at pictures of some fucking trad-heritage shit clothing or some black drapey clothing that happened far away from where I live and my boss said we had no budget to send me to because we spent our entire budget on black and white photos of people in ill-fitting suits outside the shows in our city.” Since every article is the same fashion fridge magnet poetry words rearranged, they get back burner treatment. Front and center comes the same rehashed pictures and ideas for lists and slideshows that get retweeted and reposted around the network of magazines and bloggers for about three days until someone makes a new list poking fun at the list from three days ago, then rinse and repeat. Every front page is filled by lists making fun of a slideshow making fun of a list that was about a fashion show three months ago.
I have no vested interest in #menswear. I don’t go to school for fashion. I don’t make a paycheck off of any heritage trad post modern geometric eurotrash americana fashunz (and no, I certainly have not ever received a check for any writing I’ve done). Whatever the next menswear trend, I am going to wear a white tee shirt, blue jeans, and boots all summer long, I can tell you this in advance. Instead, I have the luxury of playing court side observer to this circus, while some people I know rely on this circus to pay rent and put food on the table. To these people I send sincere apologies that you have dug yourselves into this hole. You now are at the mercy and critique of your ill educated readers who don’t understand most of your hip-hop references, you are at the whim of your accounting department who themselves are at the whim of whoever paid for the shitty banner ad that graces the front page of your site this week. You have convinced yourself that lists are articles and slideshows are actually worthwhile original content (I’m looking at you, editor of Time Out New York, and all the other editors who somehow got involved in my pre-morning coffee twitter shitshow). Welcome to the downfall of the menswear bloggers y’all. Without these sites and magazines and what have you posting anything original, the bloggers have no content to base posts off of (sans the brave few who go out and do their own research and content hunting) and they get stuck posting and reposting slideshows and lists themselves (are you starting to catch on to this vicious cycle of content rehashing?)
Having observed the menswear scene for the past couple of years, I have seen little to no change in the clothing and longer running trends (the short lived trends like putting blankets over your head, putting gloves in your breast pocket, wearing a poncho and squatting in your #wiwt’s, and big floppy hats are irrelevant and are but drops in the fashion bucket) that seem to just reference themselves over and over. It’s not like much of the clothing ever piqued interest in me or was that impressive to begin with, but the last two seasons have produced approximately zero items of note in the originality department. Call your grails your grails and your jawnz your jawnz, it all looks like the same shit you were putting on a pedestal three years ago. A slight change in a detail and y’all start calling the shit the item of the fucking century, like people haven’t been wearing leather jackets since your granddad’s era or that a new OCBD can be that different from all the other ones out there. The style has not matured or grown, it has been dumbed down and divided into cliques. The cliques start using their own lingo and hashtags, raise their own future opponents by scorning the underdogs, who in turn go off to try and start their own clique. I was never on any of the forums, but my limited knowledge of their current state makes them look like the two old guys in the balcony from the muppets except they’re not funny, they are just bitter and hating on everything possible. Those who made it out of the forums and prospered are now the butt of jokes on the forums that raised them. Those who never made anything out of what they were doing are stuck posting snark from their cubicles.
I am not writing this to attack anyone personally, many of my good friends are involved in the #menswear market, their livelihood depends on readers like y’all to click on their sites. I am not ignorant to how the magazines make their money and that advertising is spent on pageviews. However I find it hard to accept that nobody has an original idea out there anymore, that so few care to brave the whirlpool of tweets about lists about tweets and post original content. I applaud those who do still write passionately about the stuff, and while I may not read it myself its good to see that there is someone doing it and not succumbing to the lures of writing the copy to a slideshow of suits that all look the same. To those who are sitting with their feet up on their desks counting their paychecks wearing clothing sent to them for free, keep doing what you’re doing because clearly it is working for you; but to those who are just now getting started in the game, realize that those positions are already filled. Realize that you are not doing any good by reblogging their lists and slideshows, that you are not doing any good hating them for what they have, and that you are not doing any good by taking bad streetstyle photos of the same outfit everyone else is shooting. Dare to be original, dare to be angry, and dare to do your own god damn thing. If you’re going to have a personal style blog, have some fucking personal style. Go off and do your own thing, and post some original content. This is undoubtedly the only way to carve a path for yourself at this point and not be another useless tumblr filled with someone else’s work.