I’ve been sitting on this post for some time. I could’ve put it out right when I got back from NY 5 months ago, but I decided to wait for various reasons. One reason is because I think the internet reacts too quickly and that some things need time to be seen properly. The other reason is because I'm real lazy and forgetful.
People often complain about the #menswear industry by saying things like, “it’s a circle jerk”. Before my experience at (capsule) I assumed that these people were just grouchy old hermits who had a bit of hard luck.
Upon rolling into the building looking like I got lost, which I was for a time, I noticed something was up. All the men in the building looked like their hair had been caught in a vicious hurricane and if they weren’t careful, it would blow off like a toupee. I walked back outside to see what had happened to the weather between the time I had walked inside and the time I got my hokey lookin’ bracelet. It was pretty nice out and Aeolus wasn’t active enough to blow anyone’s hair in that manner. This detail began to raise my suspicions that something was weird about this place.
I walked back inside and proceeded to the first room. Not much to see there. Just some expensive thrift store finds and a smell similar to my Grandmother’s house – the one that lives in Ohio and on a farm.
I walked into the second room and smelled it immediately: a recent wank. Actually, almost the entire place smelled like a recent wank (except for the woodland room, that just smelled like a big honkin’ pile of mulch). Even the music they played reminded me of that time when I was coming back from class and I walked into my room and… Uh, never mind.
Various groups of people gathered around the popular booths playing the “muffin game”, which explained a lot. Monitaly and Ovadia and Sons were popular booths to participate in, apparently, everyone’s favorite game*.
- A post-"muffin game" photo.
I was condescended to an uncountable number of times. People actually act like this? I had never met a group of people so snotty. A marketing director called me “Boss” four times in four sentences, which I would’ve considered a commendable feat if I hadn’t been so offended at the time. He represented a company that took old rugs and blankets and repurposed them into expensive bags. Which is a lot of green to be green. Is that even green? My Mom has some old rugs and blankets lying around. I’ll have to see if this company wants to buy a few and my Mom will have some extra cash to go with my Dad out to Applebee’s. It’ll be a date. If you’re ever there you should try the Cowboy Burger. It looks like the current middle-class America – sad, sloppy, pale, and with little hope of becoming something great and respected – but it tastes like contentedness, which I suppose is like middle-class America too. (capsule) was the sort of place that would make you miss something like a Cowboy Burger.
(capsule) was a big circle jerk. But when looking at most industries that are like #menswear, I’m sure you’ll see exactly the same thing. Is jerking a necessary component of success? Maybe.
Shout out to the few people who did treat me with a bit of kindness. I don’t endorse products but I wish you the best for you and your brand.
As I rode the bus home, I realized that spending a day at (capsule) turned me into a Veblen sympathizer. Money begot money. Productive begot useless consumption. But after 5 months I got over it and accepted reality. Frankly, I didn’t care enough to make a fuss. Now that I had my answer to the question, “Is #menswear a big circle jerk?” I discovered I had a new one: do I want to get some lube or not?
*The muffin brand name “Otis Spunkmeyer” actually makes sense now.