Steve Jobs, Fashioning Success

Steve Jobs was a man who was openly neglectful of all things fashion. In spite of this, his invariably bland attire has become the hallmark of his memory.

Jobs sported the same turtleneck sweatshirt and heavy-duty jeans for the entirety of his public life. This is news to no one, as it became one of the most recognisable attires of all time.

It all begs the question; how has a man who deliberately forsook fashion become quite so distinguishable because of it? It seems to indicate that fashion – in a world so obsessed with appearances – is inescapable.  What’s more, it suggests that the whole hierarchy is flawed; after all, what can be worse fashion-wise than someone who doesn’t at all consider what they wear? But is Jobs remembered for having a bad ‘sense of fashion’? No, if anything he is revered for it, why? Because his achievements in life were significant enough for him to do as he pleases, and forever escape criticism for it.

This leads to the idea that fashion is entirely hegemonic, people wanting to be other people. So who is the person we all want to be? Well, that varies from individual to individual, but whoever it may be, they are invariably famous, wealthy, successful, popular and influential. All the things we think we wish we were. So we wear a dress similar to the one Katy Perry was photographed wearing, and imagine we are her, and just for a moment, a fleeting moment, we feel good.

After that big shopping trip, filling our bags with the ammunition to make us a better person- we return home try it all on and think ‘I thought I’d bought more than this.’ Then we realise fashion is futile. An imitation game full of false promises and misguided pretensions. The final unimportant layer of a person that for some, like Jobs, is used to avoid indecency. But for others to fill an internal void.

There is no good, bad, in or out in fashion, it’s a myth- it’s all about the person underneath. So be a good, successful, happy person and realise this is the foundation on which fashion sits. Wear what you want, appear how you want to appear, in a way that reflects you, not someone else. Set trends, don’t follow them.

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