Friday, March 4, 2011

Hipster as Commodity

This J. Crew catalog came in the mail yesterday and I thought, "wow that is really messy for a J. Crew cover."

Then today I figured out why. And I owe it all to this little book, published by the n+1 Foundation in Brooklyn.

What Was the Hipster? explains everything there is to know about the post-college urban white-child aesthetic overwhelmingly visible for the past decade in certain New York neighborhoods and also aggressively present, as everyone knows, right here in the Mission, the pocket of San Francisco in which I personally find myself dwelling right alongside all those supercilious nerds-on-purpose in their thousands.

According to n+1, "The hipster is that person, overlapping with declassing or disaffiliating groupingsthe starving artist, the starving graduate student, the neo-bohemian, the vegan or bicyclist or skatepunk, the would-be blue-collar or post-racial individual who in fact aligns himself both with the rebel subculture and with the dominant class, and opens up a poisonous conduit between the two."

Also according to n+1, the whole movement has already been dead for a couple of years, if it but knew. And the proof of that (to come full circle here) is the J. Crew cover up at the top. Hipster as ultra-mainstream commodity.