Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Hipsters Love Newspapers

Amid all of the talk about how the blogosphere is crushing the media hegemony like a walnut, supplanting the fusty old paper-and-ink paradigm with many-to-many dispatches delivered at blinding light speed across the Web that deliver body blows to the powers that be,I thought it might be worthwhile to walk through my local Urban Outfitters yesterday to take the pulse of corporate hipster branding. Um, actually, I wasn't there to conduct field work; I just like Urban Outfitters. The whole notion of a big company selling cutting-edge style to the masses is absurdly calculated, but they make cool shit, and so I bite. I especially like their T-shirts, although lately it seems that they have decided that anyone over 5 feet tall and 120 pounds shouldn't really be in the market for their T's.

I'm drifting here, but bear with me. So I was browsing the shirt aisles yesterday, and lo, what did I spot among the shirts bearing old-school Technics turntables, cassette tapes and the like? A white shit emblazoned with The New York Times logo. Not Gawker, or Daily Kos. A 150-year-old newspaper logo. So it seeems that the gatekeepers at U.O., given their choice of hip logos to market, went with one of the oldest media instutitions on the planet. Let's just hold off on that new paradigm for a minute, shall we?

11 comments:

Gus said...

What makes Urban Outfitters great is that their buyers are local. Each store contains standard UO fare, which is supplemented by purchase made by staff members in each area. They're a nationwide business smart enough to decentralize taste -- a lesson Musicland learned the hard way.

Ed Cohen said...

Great site! I really enjoy your writing. Please continue. Oh - and I can't find the NY Times shirt. Is it available on Urban Outfitters site?

Thanks,

Ed Cohen
ecohen@karballaw.com

MW said...

as for the shirt being availible on the site i guess you can check it out....

MW said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
MW said...

thx ed!

Ed Cohen said...

Thought I might get that as a response. I'm slow, but not *that* slow. :-)

I actually did a search on the site for the shirt but couldn't locate it. Thought you might have a direct link. No big deal - I'll dig further.

MW said...

ed - the store's have it for sure....

waymon said...

My own affinity for Urban Outfitters has been duly, although somewhat surreptitiously, documented for many years now. Nary a family holiday/birthday event goes by without finding me there, shopping for some humorously distasteful trinket, practically guaranteed to be a hit with the under 20 set in my clan. For years, the kids have been asking where I’d found such “great and notable” items like, Gooey Louie, the board game that entices it’s players to probe the giant nostrils of a freestanding latex nose, rewarding whomever pulls out the largest rubber booger as the games’ winner. Clearly, it ain’t every five and dime that stocks such stellar items, so I’ve been a loyal Outfitters shopper and they’ve served me well. As the tikes have grown, U.O. has matured with them and since, their t-shirt collection has provided many a satisfying chuckle at gift giving time.. And now? It all seems shot to hell. I just presented my eighteen year old nephew, who’s a very cool kid but who has unexplainably started going to Friday night services on his own (a touch of oxymoron in there, huh?), with an Urban Outfitters T that says “Manischewitz; I like Matzoh”. Would you believe the kid giggled but said he could never wear it? It’s not like I picked up the shirt in the neighboring pile that read, “I’m a nice Jewish Boy!”. Jeez… am I the only one who sees the humor of the Matzoh garb? Forget the NY Times logo… Manischewitz is the classic that will be remembered for centuries to come. So, now, I’m not sure what the situation is; am I losing my touch, is the kid losing his, or has the Oufitter lost theirs? I ask you…

waymon said...

My own affinity for Urban Outfitters has been duly, although somewhat surreptitiously, documented for many years now. Nary a family holiday/birthday event goes by without finding me there, shopping for some humorously distasteful trinket, practically guaranteed to be a hit with the under 20 set in my clan. For years, the kids have been asking where I’d found such “great and notable” items like, Gooey Louie, the board game that entices it’s players to probe the giant nostrils of a freestanding latex nose, rewarding whomever pulls out the largest rubber booger as the games’ winner. Clearly, it ain’t every five and dime that stocks such stellar items, so I’ve been a loyal Outfitters shopper and they’ve served me well. As the tikes have grown, U.O. has matured with them and since, their t-shirt collection has provided many a satisfying chuckle at gift giving time.. And now? It all seems shot to hell. I just presented my eighteen year old nephew, who’s a very cool kid but who has unexplainably started going to Friday night services on his own (a touch of oxymoron in there, huh?), with an Urban Outfitters T that says “Manischewitz; I like Matzoh”. Would you believe the kid giggled but said he could never wear it? It’s not like I picked up the shirt in the neighboring pile that read, “I’m a nice Jewish Boy!”. Jeez… am I the only one who sees the humor of the Matzoh garb? Forget the NY Times logo… Manischewitz is the classic that will be remembered for centuries to come. So, now, I’m not sure what the situation is; am I losing my touch, is the kid losing his, or has the Oufitter lost theirs? I ask you…

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