Saturday, May 19, 2012

The year of the hoodie

This is the year of the hoodie. At no time has a dress sense raised so much mixed emotions. It started when Geraldo Rivera, a Fox TV host said Trayvon Martin, a 17 year old teenager, killed while walking home with a Can of Ice Tea, was killed because of the hoodie he was wearing.  

He was killed by George Zimmerman, a 28 year old man who had earlier called the police to say that Martin was acting suspicious.

Watch Geraldo Rivera blaming the hoodie for Martin’s death.

This sparked a backlash in the US which led to the Million Hoodie Match in tribute to Trayvon Martin, with thousands of people walking the streets of New York wearing hoodies.

US Congressman Bobby Rush famously joined the push against the negative hoodie branding when he wore a hoodie to the floors of the US Congress.

Mark Zuckerberg’s appearance at an investor road show wearing a hoodie while planning for one of the biggest IPO’s in US history may however have crowned 2012 as the year the hoodie left the gangster street for the boardroom.

Mark Zuckerberg’s appearance at the investor road wearing a hoodie drew many criticisms.
“He’s actually showing investors he doesn't care that much; he's going to be him," analyst Michael Pachter told Bloomberg TV. "I think that's a mark of immaturity."

The Wall Street suit guys were obviously shocked that Mark did not care about their suit culture.
Interestingly, Mark Zuckerberg who walked to Wall Street, and raised $16 billion in the second biggest IPO in US history, putting his company's value at about  $104 billion, is the same age as 28 year old George Zimmerman, the man who pulled the trigger that killed 17 year old Trayvon Martin, allegedly because he was wearing a hoodie. 

The listing of the Facebook IPO was also the crowning of the hoodie. NASDAQ for the first time in its history presented a hoodie to a listing company’s Chief Executive. And guess what, Mark was still wearing his hoodie and so were good number of Facebook staff.

Facebook's success may have announced the arrival of the corporate hoodie fashion. The corporate three-piece suit may just be on its way out as the dominant fashion in the corporate world. 

The hoodie is the new business model represented by Facebook, Google, Zynga, Linkedln and many more, started by youths on their Laptops, Car boots and Garages. This is not the typical business environment for the suit wearing traditional business executive.Suit wearing may actually stifle the creativity that represents this new business model than promote it.

The knowledge economy is fast changing the traditional business models. The knowledge economy is driven by creativity. Hoodie  is synonymous with the creative music industry. It has shifted to the creative tech industry.
Those who understand this shift are already building a bridge across the fashion gap. Welcome to the world of the pinstripe hoodie. 

Perhaps, time to order your pinstripe hoodie. 

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