With Facebook heading into it's historic IPO this week, and valuations some have estimated as high as $100 billion, one's hard pressed to figure out how fashion (or lack thereof) figures into the equation. Even the NY Times' editorial gave ink to the question, "Who could have thought a hoodie could mean so much?" Of course, we're talking about the "Zuck" and his signature apparel.
Really, does the CEO of the number-one social network in the world need to dress for success? So what if it's casual? Perhaps it's to signify the radical difference between the mindset of Silicon Valley versus Wall Street. While Zuckerberg could never be considered "the common man," wearing a hoodie instead of a pinstripe suit and Hermès tie puts him a lot more closely aligned to the 99 Percenters than the elite 1%.
According to the Times, "Like (Steve) Jobs’ black turtleneck, the hoodie is his anti-fashion statement."
Ironically, Zuckerberg's fashion choices and billion dollar empire stands in stark contrast to the excesses of Wall Street that continue to this day. With JPMorgan's $2 billion dollar loss this past week, and their posturing analogous to thumbing their nose at Main Street and holding to their belief, "they don't need no stinkin' rules," -- has once again run afoul of making sound financial decisions.
And in so doing, their poor choices in risk management are categorized as egregious and akin to much of the decision-making that caused the 2008 failure of Lehman Brothers.
But I digress. To counter the fall-out of "hoodiegate," Zuckerberg's sister Randi tweeted on Twitter how apparel companies like Betabrand were capitalizing on her brother's fashion statement. Priced at a $148, "executive pinstripe hoodies" are now in production and will be ready for shipment by June 22 "if not sooner."
The Times concludes their post with an interesting perspective on the zeitgeist of today's modern culture. Reporter Somini Sengupta notes that less we forget, a teenage boy named Trayvon Martin was wearing a hoodie the night he was killed in a gated townhouse community in Sanford, Florida. From that day on, the hoodie became a symbol of solidarity for blacks and whites. "Many people I know took pictures of themselves wearing hoods," said Sengupta, and "(naturally) posted them on Facebook."
"Trayvon’s hoodie is a reminder that neither Wall Street nor Silicon Valley are terribly representative of our country," she added. From that perspective, what Zuckerberg wears to sell his billion dollar company seems inconsequential.
In the 2010 graphic novel satire, "Facebucks & Dumb F*cks," the narrator of the story lampoons "Z-Man" for NOT wearing the traditional hoodie garb like all his college chums, but instead a pair of leotards, a cape and a feathered cap. Now, if Zuckerberg really wanted to make a fashion statement on Wall Street, that would that be the get-up worthy of all this over-hyped media attention.
Page from Facebucks & Dumb F*cks graphic novel