Fear Of God Fall/Winter 2013 And Tiptoeing Away From Serious Discussions On Clothing’s Soft Power In Society

Okay now, there's some uncomfortable skinhead (of the non-black variety) stuff happening in Fear Of God's new "Brothers Keeper" F/W 13 lookbook: dudes with hand tattoos and buzzcuts and bomber jackets, smoking cigarettes. More or less, this is some unsavory shit. But anyone who's wearing Fear Of God is probably just a Kanye West stan and thus probably not racist. I mean, if anything, Ye is the one who's said some pretty uncool shit about Jewish people recently. Really, this whole white power aesthetic in general (including the Confederate flag Yeezus Tour stuff) needs a better explanation than the ones Kanye has been giving on his recent press junket. I think what he's getting at is something about how symbols and words only have power when we, as society, give them power. Like, the Confederate flag and skinheads are only offensive if you find them offensive.

Symbols and words are not static. But here's the problem: 99.9% of people don't view clothes on an intellectual level like that and maybe they shouldn't in the first place. Clothing is supposed to communicate a superficial message about the person wearing them, and as quickly as possible. The expectation that anyone will stop and think a Confederate flag is "ironic" is an unreasonable one. If you're white and dressing like a skinhead or wearing a Confederate flag in 2013, then expect everyone to think you're racist because, at this point in time, that's what those symbols mean. Then again, Jerry Lorenzo, Fear Of God's founder, is a person of color, so I'm not even sure if I'm allowed to criticize him for any of this. I guess we might as well just tiptoe away from this very serious discussion about racial and cultural appropriation and commerce's soft power in society and just say that I like side zips and flannels and fleece even if I don't like to pay hundreds of dollars for them. Fear Of God's new collection drops December 16.

  • michael jordan

    you nerds are so worried about seeming racist you’ll find any way to call someone else out on it
    hand tattoos, smoking, and bomber jackets in a lookbook i.e. every lookbook to hit the internet for the past year =/= nigger grave diggers

    • nerd-182

      uhhh…good look bruh…

  • bob lee

    Hello ahistorical mumbo jumbo. It is rather irresponsible to conflate skinheads and white supremacists. Sure, there was a big skin movement toward nationalism but it was always countered by a bigger skin movement away from fascism. Erasing that history erases the hard work of anti-fascist skins, and it is bloody inaccurate. Also, skinhead roots are anything but fascist. In every city I have been to around the world there is always a larger presence of S.H.A.R.P. than fascist skins. Anti-fascists are winning, but clearly not in the realm of popular (and naive) opinion. Besides, there is an obvious aesthetic difference between antifa and fascist skins. Fascists, if they look skinhead at all, are usually in baggy military cargoes that are tucked tightly into knee high shit kickers with big muscles and nazi tattoos- the entire style is much more militia-esque. The aesthetic of this lookbook does not bring up images of racial violence. Please do not erase history and culture based on your lazy assumptions.

    • luke

      you’re absolutely right. Not to mention that Nick Knight, the guy who’s collaborated with kanye a lot as of recently, first emerged in the 80s by documenting skinhead culture. I will say though, as far as fashion is concerned, this reminds me all too much of what gosha rubchinskiy has been doing for years now.

    • cozyKev


  • WAVY

    These dudes look more like Dallas Buyers Club extras than actual neo-nazis but I get your point

  • alxndrs

    In the UK the skinhead movement was (and is) largely anti-fascist, though there’ve always been sects that were otherwise. Seems odd for us to assume this is ‘racist’ just based on the aesthetic. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skinhead

  • jaycen

    Scenes from American History XI, the sequel?

  • p

    babbling about Kanye West again…