By no means am I a model, nor do I claim to be. Sure, I walked the runway at a local restaurant as a child wearing the hottest overalls 1990 had ever seen (swan embroidery included), but those vapid and self-indulgent days are behind me.
What lies before you is a man who looks like innards of a Matryoshka doll of Steve Bannon. Out-of-shape, scraggly beard, and a waxed canvas coat to cover a body that consists more of amorphous shapes than definition.
But to say that my fashion influence doesn’t move the needle of New York Fashion Week would be downright incorrect. The simple fact that I wasn’t invited to do a TED Talk at Men’s Fashion Week in London this past weekend will shift the tides of sartorialism for months, if not years.
Of course, you can claim that it’s downright self-indulgent to view myself in this manner. A closet full of golf polos and garment-dyed longe sleeve t-shirts would indicate that I’m just another generic white dude who’s a lemming to your Hypebeasts and Cool Huntings. The fact that I recently purchased not one but two pairs of khakis from The Gap (40 percent off) would indicate that I’m nowhere near the mogul I claim to be.
Allow me to take you back, though. Back to the summer of 2008, nearly a decade ago. I was not a man, but a man-child who’s body was more full of Labatt Blue Light than it was of lush greens from the farmer’s market. My regular schedule went as follows: wake up hungover, work, pints for the Tigers game, brownout, repeat. It wasn’t the healthiest of lifestyles, but it was my lifestyle and that was enough for me.
Simply put, I had no regard for the outside world. My Blackberry’s browser was rarely opened. My fantasy baseball team was top-two in the league. The biggest mountain I had to climb was getting five beers down as quickly as possible so my golf swing could get where I needed it to be. I was, for lack of a better word, reckless.
Sometimes, though, you’re at your best when you’re at your most reckless. I didn’t realize that the decisions I made that summer would echo in the fashion world for years to come. How could I? I was shooting from the hip and hoping for the best, late-night text after late-night text.
The main decision I made was salvaging a pair of sunglasses from a Burger King kid’s meal that my friend most likely ordered in 1999. The toy that I revived was not a toy at all, but a fashion statement years ahead of its time.
I’m talking, of course, about the tiny sunglasses worn by none other than Will Smith. You know, Captain James West who tamed The West. You remember the name. I had likely just lost a pair of my Smiths in the bottom of Lake Michigan after drinking one-too-many macrobrews, but this turned out to be a turning point once these plastic sunglasses graced my puffy and sunburnt face. Few photos remain, but one in particular showcases the glasses in all of their glory.
These could be defined as “ahead of their time,” but even that does them a disservice. They were ahead of their time’s time. True mavericks in every sense of the word.
It wasn’t until these sunglasses started popping up on fashion’s elite in 2017 that I realized the effect I had. Everyone from Kendall Jenner to The Hadids to Cara Delevingne. Most recently (and most importantly) Kim Kardashian.
As noted by The Cut, Kim Kardashian was even oblivious to this trend before her husband, Kanye West, sent her an email begging her to change her ways – to get away from her Celine glasses and get fitted in the tiny sunglasses that the world is yearning for.
“[Kanye] sent me a whole email like, ‘You cannot wear big glasses anymore. It’s all about tiny little glasses,’” Kim recently stated in an episode of Keeping Up With The Kardashians. And The Cut continued.
In fact, as she recounted this story over lunch, Kim wore a pair hand-selected by her husband. “He sent me like, millions of ’90s photos with tiny little glasses like this,” she added.
I know, I know, it’s 2018 and no man should be telling any woman how to dress. I stand up for equality too. But when a trend such as this is shaking the airwaves to the point where a husband makes this plea to his counterpart, the counterpart needs to at least take his wishes into consideration. And take them into consideration Kim did.
By no means am I looking for attribution for this trend. If anything, I think we should be thanking Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy and Captain James West. I simply want the world to know that you can’t just write off someone’s stylistic choices just because they have a stomach full of Early Times whiskey and $50 on the Tigers moneyline because Justin Verlander was pitching.
And if I can enact that type of change in the world? Well, that means I’ve done my part. .
[via The Cut]