Stop Acting Brand New: Are Brand Names Qualifiers for Style?

I’m going to need your help with this article. Over the past year of fashion blogging, I’ve perused looklive, YouTubers documenting the style of artists like Playboi Carti, Travis Scott and Kanye West. I’ve also checked out the street style of different people on PAUSE, a street style publication based out of the U.K., and have peeped countless outfits of celebrities on Instagram.

These celebrities, more often than not, are shown wearing brand names. Some of these brands are more costly than others which makes sense — higher earnings means celebrities can certainly afford them. Flipping through GQ? Designer brands are plastered everywhere on said person.

Last night I was watching a video about Playboi Carti’s style and the first words that came out of the YouTuber’s mouth were the brands he was wearing.  RAF Simons, Supreme and Fear of God. And of course, as you all know (or may not know), I am opposed to some brands for many reasons. Yes, cost is one of those reasons.

For example, I refuse to pay $300 for Calabasas sweatpants that Kanye is dropping when I can get similar looking sweatpants from Forever 21 for $23 (my girlfriend called me frugal – SO RUDE). $300 is just astronomically priced though, Mr. West. I don’t care how much discretionary income I have, I would never fold and pay half of someone’s rent on some wack looking sweatpants that “aren’t even lined with 24K gold” said an un-named individual.

Question of the Day

This brings me to the crux of this post. Do brand names supersede overall style? I understand the clothes that we wear must be defined by a name, but the style and type of piece seems to be less emphasized than the brand itself in many instances. Athletes and the like are seemingly praised for wearing Balenciaga, Louis Vuitton and Givenchy.

For example, the article I just referenced shows the best fall looks from NBA players. However, at no point did the article mention something like, “This look is one of the more cleaner looks from the fall because of the dressed down feel including a nice overcoat and sweater.”

Instead, the photo titles emphasize brands — Louis Vuitton bag with Myles Turner, Balenciaga biker jacket from LeBron, so on and so forth.

NBA Players Fall Fashion
David Dow/NBA/Getty Images
Lebron Fall Style
Ned Dishman/NBA/Getty Images

More Than Just About The Brand

There was simply no explanation which led me to believe the person writing the article was only focused on the brands. I can’t expect the writer to be a style pundit, but come on. If we’re talking about the looks of some of the players, Myles could’ve rocked practically any pair of boots to make his outfit more dressier. James Harden, known by many in the NBA as a flamboyant dresser, took an interesting approach to the color neon. I won’t elaborate.

James Harden Fashion
Harden rocks Adidas Primeknit shoes before a game against the Raptors. Bill Baptist/NBA/Getty Images

If you care about my opinion, I thought CJ McCollum rocked the best fall fit (especially considering the colorway).

NBA Fashion
Sam Forencich/NBAGetty Images

Rarely are celebrities praised for wearing a H&M bomber, Forever 21 jeans and a flannel plus New Republic boots (oops that described this look from me). Is it because these brands aren’t esteemed by fashion-conscious people with a large amount of influence (and money) like artists and athletes?

I just want clarity. Are we going to praise A$AP Rocky’s style because of what he wears or the brands he’s wearing?

This exaltation of people wearing fashionable and designer brands is annoying. There’s no wonder the common man sees brand name clothing on their favorite celebrity/influencer,  and thinks they should be too. That right there is the issue right there, plain and simple (just like H&M’s reasonably affordable clothes *smirks*).

I think if brands are not exalted like Gods (HEY SUPREME), then fashion would not seem so finicky and trendy. It would be easier to appreciate someone’s sense of style. If I sound like I am blaming brands for their superiority, think again. It’s about public perception and status associated with certain brands that’s ridiculous.

I’m going to play devil’s advocate here for a second. I’m fully aware there are a plenty of brands out there that aren’t trendy, and provide higher quality than some fast fashion retailers.

Some of the items might even last longer. But I’m stressing that some pieces of clothing, in addition to shoes, boots, etc. are not any better than something you could find at ASOS or H&M.

I’m probably preaching to the choir, but does anyone agree with me? The style of individuals deemed as fashion kings and queens should be praised more than the brands they’re wearing. Because ultimately the latter is so close-minded.

If you’d like to read similar articles, sign up for updates here. Let me know if you think brand names are qualifiers for style!

Peace, love and style.

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