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FRANK SINATRA by Herman Leonard | © Herman Leonard Photography LLC

in the ’50s was that they were garments associated with the working classes — the term ‘blue-collar’ is a reference to denim work-shirts. In the ’50s and ’60s, for a middle-class kid to wear blue denim rather than gray flannel was an act of symbolic rebellion,” write Dick Pountain and David Robbins in their 2000 book “Cool Rules: Anatomy of an Attitude.” “But in the ’90s those sartorial rebels are parents and still wearing their Levi’s, so their own children must find something different to express their rebellion.” (It’s proba-

generation where the likes of Steve Jobs — whose trademark ensemble included Levi’s 501 jeans — epitomizes cool.) While cool is not inherent in objects but in people, objects — like jeans — can be granted “cool” status due to people's attitude toward them. And so what may appear to be a passing fad is sometimes actually a phenomenon — and one with wide influence over spheres from the sartorial, to the economic. Yes, its connotations may be malleable, but it still maintains such a

YES, ITS CONNOTATIONS MAY BE MALLEABLE, BUT IT STILL MAINTAINS SUCH A STRONG COMPONENT OF OUR CULTURE bly no coincidence that the company was profitable again for the first time in 2007 amidst a “revenge of the nerds”

strong component of our culture, and maybe that’s because cool, and the sense of resistance it represents, is re-

ally fundamental to America and the American concept of the self. “The United States was a rebellious colony literally born in revolution and lacking in traditional values; as a nation, we value rebellion as a quality of individuality,” Dinerstein says. “America is a land of self-invention and self-creation: historically, people come here to reinvent themselves and it requires a stage of rebellion … we are a nation of immigrants such that second-generation children must figure out for themselves how to be (and look) American. They often find exemplars in film or popular music, or in comedians or athletes.” And somewhere within the definition has always been a prerequisite of approval — an emotional desire that is one of the strongest motivating forces known to man. “Cool can only be conferred by others,” Dinerstein says, simply. “You’re not cool just because you think you are. In fact, if you think you’re cool, you’re probably thinking way too much about cool.”

SPRING 2014

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Profile for Eide Magazine

THE CURIOUS ISSUE  

Spring 2014: Behind the scenes of Chrisley Knows Best, offstage with Young the Giant, the slow fashion movement, industrial design, Sophia W...

THE CURIOUS ISSUE  

Spring 2014: Behind the scenes of Chrisley Knows Best, offstage with Young the Giant, the slow fashion movement, industrial design, Sophia W...

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