What to Wear to a… Protest?

What to Wear to a... Protest?

photo: flickr member david shankbone

So, Steve Heller pointed out yesterday that the New York Times, for some reason, felt it necessary to commission logos for an occupation the rest of the media landscape had barely acknowledged prior to two weeks ago. That, in and of itself, was weird enough—and it was weirder that the logos they were given were so completely off the mark and missing the tenor of the protestors, um, brand.

Beyond that, they also posted a little photo spread called, “What to Wear to a Protest,” a fashion display that (I think) sneakily exposed the utter banality and pretense involved in such a thing. They simply asked particularly well-dressed protestors what they were wearing, and why they were there. Most, predictably were wearing old clothes from wherever, but a few selections were pointedly ridiculous. One woman, wearing Aldo, Forever 21 and American Apparel (and who named all of those brands), when asked why she was protesting said:

“I like the use of public space as a performative realm and I like the combination of bodies in space. I think it makes a statement.”

What exactly is that supposed to even mean?

These features from the Times left me confused as to their purposes. Were they making fun of the people who showed up at the occupation with no real attachment to it? Were they embracing their inclusion? Were they making a campy stab at the kind of silly reporting other media outlets might do? I’m not sure. Either way, the sheer weirdness of the visual reporting was… kind of genius.

5 thoughts on “What to Wear to a… Protest?

  1. Dan van Loon

    Comrade, Ed. Thank you. I see now that I am a fool for believing and suffering what my eyes and ears have witnessed.
    I note that you have done work for some very big clients. If you hate your customers and prospective customers that much, I’ll be happy to help them.

  2. Ed Flynn

    Interesting how the main idea behind the protest, seeking a democratic and egalitarian society in what has obviously become a plutocracy, is getting drowned out by big corporate media’s distortions.

    Let us not forget that these same big corporation run by the 1% plutocrats have a vested interest in seeing that this movement gets crushed.

    It’s painfully evident that these distortions are working based on the foolish comments given above.

    I think what further annoys me is that this website for the most part is read by those who should take a interest in this issue: Designers – We who get shafted on a regular basis by penny pinching corporate clients, crowdsourcing and other tactics that contstantly debase our earnings and our general well being.

    Comeon let’s be honest here. When’s the last time you met with your designer pals and didn’t hear more than a few of them complain they are: overworked for little wages or can’t afford healthcare or are having a tough time finding clients that respect what they do.

    You can thank the American corporate race to bottom for all of that yet so few have their eyes open to see it.

    Except for the brave few willing to set up “occupy protests” across the US. I’m glad that they do and don’t give a toss as to what they wear to the events.

  3. Pingback: Protests and (Not) Looking Pretty « House of Pavonine