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NPR: Why Black Men Tend To Be Fashion Kings - Page 4

post #46 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by apropos View Post

Don't think it has as much to do with race as it has to do with social class. e.g. Burberry novacheck and the Chavs in Britain.
Your observations are skewed because wealthy folk tend to be white, and the poorer folk, black.

Not sure about that; Gucci, for example, is no less expensive now than any time before. Unless all the stuff I'm seeing out there now is fake my guess is that it has to do with older vs. newer money, rather than money vs. lack of money. So rather maybe what I'm seeing is skewed because the folks who have had money longer tend to be white and those who came into it more recently are non-white.
post #47 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Holdfast View Post

Bringing this to the present day, there is certainly something of "the other" to dress smartly in a world characterised by sloppy dressing. "The other" can be both exotic or intimidating. Certainly, to dress differently from most is to send out a message about yourself and your identity. So, what kind of "other" you dress as is laden with symbolism. A black man dressed in flamboyant colour is perceived very differently to a black man modelling his dress on traditional outfits, for example. Traditional "good taste" (and I use that term cautiously but not entirely unintentionally, given the SF thread with the same title) generally echoes an establishment perspective, whereas flamboyance is a deliberate identification with some form of "other". It's interesting that today, as both traditional "good taste" and "flamboyant other" are BOTH in short supply in a drab dressing world, the two forms share more with each other than might otherwise be the case.

Agreed. And very interesting point.
post #48 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by TimelesStyle View Post

There's actually an interesting paradox Here: with respect to style of dress, it's very true that many trends originate in the "hood" and then go mainstream. Unfortunately one of the most prominent, sagging, wasn't one of the better ones... Now, the paradoxical part: with respect to labels it's the complete opposite, in my opinion. Guess, Coach and Gucci are three that come to mind. All three were very much white (and/or Asian), upper-class labels but at some point they fell out of favor with white buyers and became more popular with black buyers. For instance, I can't remember the last time I saw a white guy with Gucci labeled shoes, or a girl with a Gucci monogrammed bag. No idea whether a causal relationship exists or if it's just a coincidence, but just my observation.

Not quite the order? They became popular with some blacks and then fell out of favor with some American white buyers. I don't know where you live, but white girls everywhere still carry real and/or fake Gucci. White guys still wear Gucci shoes. Many of the young black guys have switched from Gucci shoes to Gucci sneakers. Again I must ask where do you live? You can't go to a store (retail or outlet) that sells Gucci or any high end brand and not see Asians shopping.
post #49 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by mr monty View Post


Not quite the order? They became popular with some blacks and then fell out of favor with some American white buyers. I don't know where you live, but white girls everywhere still carry real and/or fake Gucci. White guys still wear Gucci shoes. Many of the young black guys have switched from Gucci shoes to Gucci sneakers. Again I must ask where do you live? You can't go to a store (retail or outlet) that sells Gucci or any high end brand and not see Asians shopping.

I agree monty..its fascinating to hear these generalization's.. most black men I know dont wear gucci or buy coach for their significant others..so I think you might be over reaching there Timelestyle in my opinion ..one can infer from your opinion Timelestyle that white's and asians mainly are catered too by upper class labels and that when us "black" people get too these labels they are no longer considered so..most of the rappers I see wear Brietlangs, Rolexes and carry L.V bags.. those are still considered "upper class brands" where rappers have been doing so for years..I can name countless others and Gucci is still considered high class brands in most circles..so with respect to that casual relationship that you refer too, I would say in my opinion I don't see it.. that is much a stereotype that I hear so many times that's just not true..

post #50 of 65
woe was here.
post #51 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by TimelesStyle View Post

There's actually an interesting paradox Here: with respect to style of dress, it's very true that many trends originate in the "hood" and then go mainstream. Unfortunately one of the most prominent, sagging, wasn't one of the better ones... Now, the paradoxical part: with respect to labels it's the complete opposite, in my opinion. Guess, Coach and Gucci are three that come to mind. All three were very much white (and/or Asian), upper-class labels but at some point they fell out of favor with white buyers and became more popular with black buyers. For instance, I can't remember the last time I saw a white guy with Gucci labeled shoes, or a girl with a Gucci monogrammed bag. No idea whether a causal relationship exists or if it's just a coincidence, but just my observation.

I think that you and Bernie are talking about something quite different here than the original subject. The push and pull between "street" and "designer" is nothing new. The contrast between the more bourgeois and the more "street" inspired tastes of the house of Dior and the house of Yves St. Laurent and the way that Hedi Slimane approached design at the latter house, then the former, is a pretty interesting note in fashion history.
post #52 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by apropos View Post

Your observations are skewed because wealthy folk tend to be white, and the poorer folk, black.

stirpot.gif
post #53 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by baronbvp View Post

Those are great points.

 

I think many of us, regardless of color or ethnicity, tend to hang out with those most like us in our personal as well as our professional lives. As a retired military officer, I have much more in common with other current and former military people no matter their cultural background, gender, even nationality. I find I have less in common with whites like me who don't understand that experience and can't share in the shared sacrifice that bonds military people. Military people understand and accept each other in an unspoken way.

 

I believe the same is true of athletes and many other groups. I know football players who prefer hanging out with other football players, regardless of black, white, whatever. Same with musicians, car guys, etc. People like to be accepted for themselves.

 

Generally true, but the problem ethnic minorities (or at least blacks in America) face is that in many more "accomplished" fields/professions there are not other people of the same ethnic background, so they're one of the few people of that background in the profession.  And so it's only a part of "themselves" that is there - I'm not an Ivy League-educated nonprofit leader first and a black person second. I'm both.

 

Baronbvp I know you mean well and are a nice guy, but a key advantage white people in the US have is that they think/act in "non-racial" ways with concepts such as "it's not about race, it's about our shared experience in this profession/hobby/whatever." In most arenas, black people and other minorities don't have that luxury. You should be aware of that. There are exceptions - sports perhaps, or the military perhaps.  

 

I urge you to read this piece by Peggy McIntosh http://www.amptoons.com/blog/files/mcintosh.html

post #54 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by chocsosa View Post

I agree monty..its fascinating to hear these generalization's.. most black men I know dont wear gucci or buy coach for their significant others..so I think you might be over reaching there Timelestyle in my opinion ..one can infer from your opinion Timelestyle that white's and asians mainly are catered too by upper class labels and that when us "black" people get too these labels they are no longer considered so..most of the rappers I see wear Brietlangs, Rolexes and carry L.V bags.. those are still considered "upper class brands" where rappers have been doing so for years..I can name countless others and Gucci is still considered high class brands in most circles..so with respect to that casual relationship that you refer too, I would say in my opinion I don't see it.. that is much a stereotype that I hear so many times that's just not true..

I think you misunderstood what I was saying, particularly about a causal relationship. I said one may or may not exist, that I have no idea, but I simply observed that I see fewer whites wearing Gucci or Coach (or True Religion for that matter, one I'd previously omitted) and more blacks wearing said labels. Who knows what, if any, relationship exists. I highly doubt it's blacks "getting too close," and more likely a question of marketing. Consumers are fickle creatures and one of the best things marketers can do is find a new demographic to go after when a core demographic starts to lose interest. True Religion is a perfect example. Won't ever have much staying power anywhere but might as well try to find a new group of customers when the original target audience loses interest.

Finally, I'll be the first to admit that my observations (not beliefs, biases, predispositions or assumptions) may not be representative of the population at large. And it wasn't even really a question of hierarchy of consumers, rather it was more about a contrast in where I observed different types of trends (style vs. label) appear to originate and perpetuate. Was not meant to be a broad generalization.
post #55 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by mr monty View Post

Not quite the order? They became popular with some blacks and then fell out of favor with some American white buyers. I don't know where you live, but white girls everywhere still carry real and/or fake Gucci. White guys still wear Gucci shoes. Many of the young black guys have switched from Gucci shoes to Gucci sneakers. Again I must ask where do you live? You can't go to a store (retail or outlet) that sells Gucci or any high end brand and not see Asians shopping.

I live in Chicago but have only been here about six months. Previously I was in LA for six years, which was where I made most of my observations.
post #56 of 65

I have just read this thread and it has some interesting and some nonsense replies.

 

In my opinion some fashion, trends could be related to poverty. Handed down clothes that you had to make look good (single cuff, Ragga Roll), Jeans hanging around your backside and tops that drown you. I think of it like food, most of your favourite takeaways originate from the poor food of a particular nation.

 

The media just jump on the latest craze and we all start looking the same for a while.

 

I think any race that does not have my pasty skin will look better in white, cream suit and equally as good in a dark suit. Just be glad you dont need to embarass yourself with tanning lotion lol8[1].gif

 

As for stereotypes- I never understand why people get mad about them, there is some truth in all of them (Although I am Irish and hate Guinness ;)). We all need to tweak our appearance, views and personality in the work place so we can fit in,  the rest of the time be yourself and you will make friends accordingly.

post #57 of 65
I also live in Chicago and have many Asian friends. It seems to be almost a right of passage, that at a certain time in an Asian girls life she gets a Gucci (or LV) purse. You can almost hear the 90 year old grandmother saying in Cantonese "你現在就去!買古奇錢包的時間。" which means "You go now-buy Gucci purse". It has to come from the Gucci/LV whatever store. If it doesn't it's not real.I took my friend to Tiffany s and between Thanksgiving and New Years she dropped almost $40,000. The people I know have no trust in the grey market and I'm told it's the same in Hong Kong. Anyway they tend to buy/wear only one label item in an outfit.

There is a class of Black people that dress very much like the UK Chavs, in that they will wear a certain fake label pattern head to toe. When you see so much of it, the item loses it's cachet. I used to like the Burberry lining and now any hint of it is too much for me.

I ramble. There are people of all races that dress well and poorly. No single race has the prize at either end of the spectrum.
post #58 of 65
Found something interesting... Maybe. :P

Source: http://www.quantcast.com

Saks Fifth:



You'll notice that the site receives a great deal of African American and Asian traffic.



^Bergdorf; same.

Now, before I go any further, I realize that the data doesn't say anything about purchases or the ratio of men-to-women buyers - it's just traffic.
But, it does suggest that the African American community at least has a good knowledge of high-end clothing brands (though such says nothing about
anyone's style sense).

But, then there's this (ShopCoogi.com):



Maybe this information is irrelevant (again, we see the types of traffic, but we cannot connect the types of traffic together)? Or maybe it shows how versatile/eclectic the African American wardrobe can be (if we choose to interpret the data that way)?

Just for fun, it seems cheap shops receive a lot of affluent traffic in conjunction with a good deal of white traffic.

Land's End:



I've also noticed that (in many cases not shown here) higher-end shops tend to receive a good deal of lower-income traffic. Window shoppers/dreamers?

Oh, and StyleForum:

post #59 of 65

It was from NPR.

 

They have the adopted dual roles of agent provocateur and agent de change intent on creating and promoting a Hegelian dialectic to influence your ideas, hence thinking, emotions, and actions.

 

They always build their story on a modicum of truth, but their story is always the same.

 

All men dress to impress some idea upon you. Many men dress to influence or attain access to certain social strata. Black men are no different in this than white men.

 

Unfortunately there exists a strong stereotype about the dress of black men, especially in the U.S.

 

It is farcical of NPR that it would create a Hegelian dialectic by promoting an idea which is the polar opposite of the stereotype.

 

Yes, the truth is in the middle, but not in the direction that NPR would lead you.

 

Well dressed black men of  all generations, like Duke Ellington, MLK, Ralph Abernathy, and Djimon Hounsou, would never be considered "Kings of Fashion"; thankfully.

 

Were they stylish? Yes. Fashionable? No.

post #60 of 65

I work for a high end retailer everyone here has been to. My job requires me to focus almost entirely on "classic menswear." However, we have seen an increase in african american clients, largely because we sell Gucci, Louis Vitton, Chanel, etc... However, I think the issue is much more complicated than race. It is more about socio-economic culture. Our urban clients who are only interested buying these labels regardless of quality / value are predominantly african american, however not exclusively. There are white customers from the same culture with the same tastes (they tend to be mono-chromatic, and avoid mixing brands in an ensemble). 

 

Conversely, our core clientele are professional businessmen and are largely white / asian. However, there are also african american professionals which have the same tastes as their white counterparts whom they share a socio-economic culture. It is more about your culture, who you associate with, what your norms are, than simply race. 

 

My style preferences are consistent with most of the people on this board, and I would never be caught dead wearing blue Gucci products head to toe. That is because it isn't the norm for my culture. It doesn't mean my culture is superior, even if it is more established, it's simply different. I appreciate the fact our urban customer puts much effort into their appearance as opposed to the "business-casual" corporate drones. 

 

Just my two cents.

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