Let’s face it, t-shirts sell products. So Balenciaga’s T-shirt Shirt may not be quite as ridiculous as some on the Internet might think. It has been written about in every major news publication, reaching a much different demographic than the pricey label might be used to, but that just might be the goal. With no official statement released, each article has a different kind of message depending on the publication’s audience. Herb.co, which characterizes itself “Herb exists to empower our users to use cannabis to transform their bodies, minds and souls,” even posted about the T-shirt Shirt. Their introduction sounds a lot like a real conversation between two people who decided to partake in cannabis and then tried to have an intelligent conversation:
“As you can see, the “T-shirt Shirt” is really two shirts, one aggressively normcore button down stitched to the front of a plain blue t-shirt. Or is it? To be honest, no one really knows.”
True to form, the New York Times story opens with an angry paragraph that is exactly what one might expect from millenials seeing it for the first time on their Instagram story, ” Balenciaga: at it again. Pushing all those social media buttons and getting everyone het up to such an extent that they have just become complicit in making an item in the men’s collection a veritable phenomenon simply on the back of an Instagram post.”
Of course, GQ does not disappoint as its writer provides a scenario-based business depiction of what the T-shirt Shirt might offer their gentlemen readers, “The shirt takes the idea of boardroom-to-the-bar seriously to a fault, and Balenciaga even touts “two wearing options:” wearing the button-up with the tee draped across the back like a cape, or as T-shirt with the button-up in the front.”
Quartzy, describes itself as a resource, “…helping you have a great day and be a more thoughtful consumer,” chose snarky, “Every so often, people stumble across an absurd piece of fashion and revel in the joy of calling it out online.”
Of course, here at Scrappy Apparel, we have noted a deliberate t-shirt shun. Take away the hype surrounding the design, the brand and the buttondown and what we have is a t-shirt. That is the real power behind the design, serving as a blank canvas of possibilities.