The Art of Keeping Cool

February 8, 2017

Adidas“A person is a fluid process, not a fixed and static entity; a flowing river of change, not a block of solid material; a continually changing constellation of potentialities, not a fixed quantity of traits.” -Carl Rogers

Just as our perspectives are ever changing and forever molding, so is our ability to express ourselves through our personal style. Lately, I’ve become reflective of how much my thoughts and beliefs have changed, but I’m only now recognizing how my wardrobe has also changed to reflect my more recent influences. Although I still see my style as being more fluid depending on my mood and the situation, I can see too how it has shifted from being once ultra girly to now more minimalist.

stansmith Adidas3fiercethreestripesgangMy heart will always belong to fashion, but lately, I’ve felt more drawn to the footwear culture. Working at arguably one of the most relevant brands, Adidas, I was exposed to what I can only describe as coolness. When I was in Los Angeles I briefly interned in their Hollywood showroom and was surrounded by the industry’s top influencers. As much as I enjoyed the fashion in NYC, I have come to appreciate West Coast style more. For some reason, it feels more personal and authentic to me- almost like people show you that they are cool, rather than having to say it. adidasoriginalsStanSmith2KeepthemguessingWhat is truly mind boggling to me is how much the footwear industry is shaped and supported by pop culture and more so the rap/hip industry. Prior to interning for Adidas when I worked for New Balance in their Global Lifestyle Marketing department I did an extensive research project on the footwear industry and influencer marketing and found that brands’ association with black culture was the driving force behind sneaker sales. It irks me though that there is so much cultural appropriation that takes place amid this connection.

There is a difference between cultural appropriation versus being inspired and entwining some aspects of that culture’s looks into your own aesthetic. What is infuriating is how people like the Kardashians will get credit for starting a trend, such as wearing braids when entire groups of people have worn their hair like that for centuries (and there is significant cultural symbolism behind it). This is definitely a larger topic I will be exploring in more depth in a future post because I believe it’s so important to be cognizant of your privilege in relation to other people and that systematic inequality is real and that the fashion industry is a big propagator of this. From this recognition of your privilege, it is your duty to help those who are oppressed and aid in structural change in our society.Adidas2I bring these points up because I’m reflective of my own boundaries between cultural appropriation and cultural appreciation in my style choices. What is the line between honoring the group that inspires you vs. taking on pieces of their culture as if they were your own? Ultimately what you wear sends a powerful message to the world and your clothing choices transmit cultural meaning, so take some time and reflect on what your personal style conveys and how authentic you are being.athleisure3athleisureMore to come soon! xx


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