Every week a different FADER staff member will pick a clothing item or accessory that he or she has lately been spending a lot of time with—or would like to—and write a little love letter to it. We would’ve done a column on who we’re dating but that seemed a little bit much. This week Alex talks about the Thrasher skateogoat hoodie.
I don’t skate. In fact, I so have never skated that I felt guilty and asked my friend if it was completely inappropriate for my non-skating self to be wearing a hoodie by Thrasher, the iconic skate brand. She said, who cares, but I still wasn’t sure. I was at an art show in Queens wearing my Thrasher hoodie and some guy with a skateboard came up to me and asked, Do you skate? When I said no, he looked so disappointed. Things in New York are complicated like that—everybody’s trying to look cool. But who is that dude, anyways? It’s not like he’s living in some bummer California suburb, working through his angst on his board. He lives in New York, for chrissakes—the media and financial capital of America. I don’t even know what the word subculture means anymore in a city like New York, which is so major culture it’s hard to think of minor cultures as even possibly still existing. Some people try to dress like punks, some like nerds, some like surfers, some like skaters. Some of the people that look like that actually are punks and nerds and surfers and skaters, but some of them are not. VICE Magazine is made here, afterall.
I wear this shit with pride. I wore it to a Green Day concert a couple of weeks ago at Barclay’s Center and blended in nicely because all the kids there were in skate gear, happily hanging with their parents and eating $8 artisanal soft pretzels from the hip, Brooklyn-y food vendors that they have there. I always remembered that punks, even pop punks, were meant to hate their parents, but now you can have spikey hair and still be cool with your Nirvana-shirt-wearing dad. Punk is a look; even the Metropolitan Museum of Art knows that. Nothing means what it used to mean.
Green Day got their start at the famous punk house Gilman in Berkeley; now they have a Broadway show that my friend’s grandma went to and play Barclay’s Center as 40-year olds in black eyeliner and studded bracelets. Does the fact that they’re a stadium-sized band with $85 merch sweatshirts with fake patches drawn on them mean that they suck? Maybe, but who am I to say? Somewhere along that journey from shitty punk band to pop-punk superstars, they seriously affected my life. I can’t even remember exactly when. Things are more complicated now than simple debates over authenticity and who gets to wear what and listen to who, and it was fun to see them. A 5-year-old sat behind me with his dad, his eyes brightening every time something crazy happened with the rainbow-colored lights. Billie Joe was having fun, too—he played for three hours! And maybe that’s the point: I could worry about co-opting a look or feeling like a poser or even being a total and complete phony, but when a hoodie feels this comfy, this good, I’d be stupid to be anything but happy.