Yes, the Latest Trend in Streetwear Is Branded Cigarette Merch
As impressionable consumers, we never figure to stop seeking stuff that will give us clout, be it among our neighbors, relatives, colleagues or, dare I say, rivals. Because of our constant call for quality goods, businesses are always, well, busying themselves with the task of making lasting impressions on us, usually through products that show concern for our upkeep.
Some desires for distinction and the companies that cater to them, though, will prove outliers, and few entities can match the layered influence of cigarette brands in that realm. While most enterprises are relying on new campaigns to attract end-users’ interests, their nicotine-centric contemporaries are gaining adulation through what Fashionista has dubbed “old-school cigarette branding,” with the established goods becoming popular streetwear attire.
If the age of the cigarette is over, then why is its image haunting streetwear? https://t.co/NQ1ZLrPBEY
— Fashionista.com (@Fashionista_com) May 15, 2018
Fashionista, Highsnobiety and GQ have devoted pieces to the surge in donning such apparel, expertly addressing why, at a time when the general consensus points to people wanting to engage in activities and purchase goods that reveal allegiance to healthy lifestyles, consumers are choosing to sport dated items that advertised a frowned-upon behavior.
“At its core, the defining element of why cigarette merch works in fashion today is unrestrained, highly potent irony,” the first source says of what is compelling consumers, particularly young buyers, to search for the puff-specific offerings, noting that companies across the industry could come to mimic the success enjoyed primarily by the Marlboro Adventure Team.
In looking at the attraction, Fashionista acknowledges that the enthusiasm blends opposite impulses together in a provocative reflection of end-users’ quests not only to capture some sense of Americana but also, and perhaps more importantly, to make sense of their roles as preservers of certain brands and refuters of particular bits of advice that put the clamps on their individual marches through life. In other words, they are going for the merchandise to tend to “a slight pang for something lost,” which definitely sounds more fitting for older wearers, as younger folks are still pondering their ideals to varying degrees, and to acknowledge that while the activity associated with the garb is questionable, nobody should question their decision to show off what they feel is stylish apparel.
GQ took the lead in that second regard, flat out opining “maybe smoking is cool again” in explaining how “more than anything else, the cigwear trend marks a way to up the ante on streetwear’s obsession with logo appropriation.” That first assertion receives a bit of a rebuke from the Highsnobiety article’s point that smoking rates have declined across much of the developed world, but perhaps, as Fashionista notes, the draw toward cigarette-specific merchandise reveals a sort of iconoclasm, with a singular mode of living where healthy practices are the only permissible ones being the casualty.
It could just very well be, though, that smitten end-users simply like the logos. We are not here to condemn or condone smoking, as to each her or his own. Instead, we are looking to analyze why merchandise, notably Marlboro goods, has won favor even though cigarette companies readily admit that their main commodities can have detrimental effects on users. Have fans of the apparel adopted a devil-may-care attitude toward what everyone else thinks on account of the companies’ symbolic representations, or could this trend be further proof to those who say that what ages a bit will eventually make a comeback?
What do you think?