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Morning Spew

Leave Aimé Leon Dore Alone

Menswear is in fact just a hobby, plus more links for this disgusting Wednesday.

The interior of Aimé Leon Dore’s Soho storefront. (Chive Cream Cheese / Wikimedia Commons)

Far be it from me to defend Benny Safdie in anything, let alone his sartorial choices, or to object to someone engaging in blatant hateration on the internet, but this article on the Deez Links Substack yesterday taking menswear to task needs to cool it. The piece, written by an anonymous writer under the pen name "Andy Sachs," calls menswear "a spindly glory hole that, if you dare jam your dick in, tickles for a second but mostly makes you feel broke and sad," a mildly funny but overwrought metaphor.

The author's arguments boil down to the assertion that menswear's relative accessibility, caused by the (arguable) popularity of a few menswear media platforms and their elevation of smaller, boutique menswear lines over traditional luxury couture designers, has made it boring. The ranter also claims that the average man's inability, in his eyes, to truly put those newly accessible fashions together coherently—like Safdie, who it must be said is, in the video linked in the post, wearing leather pants in a way that clearly seems like it's supposed to be somewhat joke-y, or at least to "offend sensibilities" as the author claims no one does anymore—has neutralized the once-potent significance of men's fashion to a bland hobby. Yet "Sachs" also accuses these quotidian menswear enthusiasts of being gratingly knowledgeable about fashion, so much so that you "can't tell how cool anyone is." As the nexus of these offenses, "Sachs" sets his eyes on New York City's Aimé Leon Dore.

What the author is identifying is that the defining tension in mens' fashion in our lifetimes—the opposition of streetwear and hip-hop culture and the gatekeepers of luxury fashion, has been in large part settled. Here's the thing, though: Everyone used to think this was a good thing.

Aimé Leon Dore is, by design, not an agitation. Rather, the brand is the full-stop at the end of the discourse that's defined our era, a synthesis of prep and streetwear that is perhaps "boring" to some, because it's supposed to be seamless. The author is right that it looks back rather than forward, as it attempts to refine and consolidate the essences of two styles once considered to be in opposition, and that might not be everyone's thing. This is not to say that Aimé is super accessible—it's arguably overpriced. But "Sachs" is essentially accusing ALD of successfully achieving its raison d’être.

But you simply don't have to dress like that if you don't like it—you can press forward into new futures if you want, despite the author's claim that there's "nothing to rebel against." (A classic case of someone projecting their own creative malaise onto culture at large—there's a lot of that going around.) To the truly bold, streetwear's discourse being settled means there are new frontiers to explore. Or you can just enjoy fashion history, or get into dressing as deeply as you choose, because menswear is just a fucking hobby.

These links are more than a hobby:

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