Common among the Gentry buyer is a type of Noble Savage ethos where they’ll say ‘aw, cute, they’re trying to be a factory’, but in practice prefer a Goliath.I don’t think people realize how important it is what Kanye was trying to tell Sway a couple years ago. Yea it’s cool to ‘have a clothing line’. But what happens when you want your own cuts? It’s either make your own factory, or outsource to a BRIC country. So keep screenprinting Gildan tees proclaiming entrepreneurship while the real culture setter is the machine in the factory in China making the pattern.
I am torn as to what the Gentry truly wants. On the one hand it’s all about supporting local business and hanging out at the local brewery, but when it’s not Saturday afternoon, you're buying your 12 pack of Budweiser from Publix or getting your new ‘wooden’ table from Ikea.
And I’m not saying there is anything wrong with any of it. This is a no morality zone. Life is hard. It really is. I think it’s absurd that every single person has to have a conscience and believe in themselves and hope they are stars of their lives. Every. Single. Person. So you have billions a niggas trying to eek out their existence when it would be so much simpler to accept your fate, find a mate have your kids work at your factory or service job. But the modern ethos built into most college educateds is that they should ‘change’ the world.
And why does this have anything to do with noble savagery? Because in the run up to changing the world instead of living in it, you have to cut any corner you can to get to the place where you are able to be a ‘mover’. Whether it be delaying marriage, children, living at home or not going out as much, these cut corners contribute to a widening gap between social strata. So as the gap widens and the would be Gentry attempts further and further leaps to make it to the ‘other half’, the ‘morality’ of the would be Gentry has to cut corners as well as their actions. Instead of living their best life 7 days a week, you really can only do it on Saturday afternoon. Otherwise you’d go broke, not be able to handle your goals, and god forbid actually experience where you live.
I think there is this naive thought that once you ‘make it’ then you can start to live fairly and ethically. You can be Chrissy Teigen and John Legend. But the patterns will have worn deep by time you get ‘there’.... if you ever even realize you are ‘there’. That pattern issue is why i think architecture (buildings) necessarily suffers today.
Working in a high end custom door shop, it was clear as day how campy these Gentry were in their actual design intent. It was either a game of, ‘i want my house to look like a barn’ or ‘i want my house to look modern for the sake of looking modern’. And again, no shame here. I get it, you’ve worked hard to get to that status, Donald Trump Jr, why take a risk design wise? Much easier to be hip and stunt.
So here’s what I am saying in conclusion, by time the clients who have the ‘privilege’ to afford local artisan goods are at the point of sale, they aren’t in it for the culture. Even if they say they are. It is a trinket. You could make a $700 smartphone with the exact same specs as an $1000 iPhone, but guess what? Few will use that Culture Phone for business. iPhone has the support, the trust, the brand.
So for now, these pretend factories are just cute.... until they’re hot. Then they all on you, right Mike Jones?