Saturday, March 2, 2013

Mayer & Visvim

#menswear has come to terms with it’s purchasing epilepsy where one can hemorrage money through the Visa. No longer are pants timeless or will last us a lifetime. When someone proposes their clothing as such, the response is a self-contained laugh or a mental run-through of one’s own sartorial future which usually formulates a reply of, “I don’t know, maybe.” Some things last a while. Some things don’t. Whatever. I have funds (sometimes). 

“Starving children can screw off, I don’t feel bad.”

#menswear currently struggling with constantly apophatically describing their own style. “Is” as a descriptor doesn’t separate them from the crowd so, “hey, go fuck yourself, my style is beyond community. It’s me. You can’t define it with any verbal terms. It’s completely unique (at this point the irony tastes like taco vomit or coffee burps)”. 

Seems fair, I’ll let it slide because calling people out is a lot of work.

I’m just trying to find my everyday uniform.

You know, the thing I can put on every morning.

Except the days I wear skirts.

And the days I’m an Italian patriarch.

And the days I ride those old non-symmetrical skateboards and 5-panels.

Recently, I was working on a piece about John Mayer and Visvim. I don’t care about segues. You’ll be fine without one. You’re intelligent because you care about how you dress.

It got shelved because all the man talks about are watches. Which, as you may already know, aren’t tepees (which, as Visvim lookbooks would lead me to believe, are the only things Visvim makes). This is a thought dump of what I collected.

Mayer is a collector. He likes stuff. He’s sort of like an American male uber-consumer. You see a lot of those type of men these days but Mayer has a lot more resources to throw around. Some men collect Abercrombie t-shirts -- seems inane and something they might not tell you specifically but probably provable for an astonishing large amount of men who spend money at A&F -- and some men collect 5-figure watches and 4-figure shoes. 

Mayer knows he gets made fun of for what he wears. He seems to be alright with it. 

For John Mayer, watches are an end in themselves and he enjoys writing about them. This is interesting because some people in this menswear movement view clothing as ends in themselves -- you buy something because it is made well and an ideal article of clothing. Y’know, “this is THE t-shirt.” Others view clothing as a medium to put together “fits” or uniforms. Mayer is the former when it comes to watches. To him they are beautiful and don’t serve any real particular purpose other than to be great objects -- his intro on Hodinkee appears to back this up. If he sees clothes in the same light, I cannot really tell. He hasn’t elaborated enough yet. Someone should ask him. Hell, someone needs to sit down and listen to old Grateful Dead tapes with him and have him explain one or two. That would be brilliant journalism. Would someone like to fund that?


Or you could just pay someone to ask him about his newest CD and his celebrity love life. What does he think of the papparazzi? How does he ever deal with fame? Katy Perry? T-Swift? Life philosophy? ‘Cause that will affect how I view the world. We should all view the world like celebrities. We should read more interviews that espouse the the distribution of their ontologies.


So is Mayer a Visvim fanatic like everyone claimed after he released the video for ‘Shadow Days’? It would seem to be the case; a substantial portion of what he wears in the video is Visvim (most notable being the Wabanaki Boots-Folk). If any person of sub-$300,000 income wore the amount of Visvim that Mayer does, you would say that they were a fanatic. But Mayer makes considerably more than $300,000. For someone of Mayer’s stature, buying all Visvim is not absurd. It doesn’t take multiple trips to the store or waiting to make sure you can meet the credit card charge. Celebrities can go into a shop, say “Visvim is cool, I guess,” and walk out completely outfitted in Visvim. The amount of thought and pursuit required for a celebrity to acquire these things is minimal.  Collecting for Mayer is easier than for you or me.

From this, I think it is difficult to say that John Mayer is a Visvim fanatic. He certainly enjoys the look and aesthetic but the amount of time that he thinks about the brand is probably limited. Proof for either argument is limited but I think the telling data is this: he writes about watches for Hodinkee. John Mayer likes watches a lot. He is a consumer. He likes acquiring musical equipment (inherent in anyone who can play a chord or keep a 4/4), clothing, women, probably cars (who doesn’t like cars), and, at the apex, watches. He writes about them. How much do you have to enjoy something in order to form your enjoyment into words? Words are fairly weak communicators, so wouldn’t that need to express your enjoyment have to be great?

Allegedly John Mayer got turned onto Visvim by Eric Clapton. Who cares? Men are great consumers, men like Clapton and Mayer are prime examples as their collections of things expand. As good as women if we allow ourselves to accept it. Is being a good consumer good for society? An economist would say so. 

But economists can’t graph narcissism.