We ran a post earlier this week regarding a recent Complex editorial that took aim at the heritage/Americana menswear movement. The original editorial referenced a previous article of theirs by Jian DeLeon, which (we think) takes issue with people who pride themselves on purchasing American-made goods. Let’s think about why someone would do that ...
Much like the more recent article by James Harris, Mr. DeLeon starts off by railing against consumers of heritage brands who believe they are “tapping into the good-old days.” Except this time, instead of filling the rest of the article with disingenuous race-baiting, Mr. DeLeon pulls a total 180 and fills the next two pages with absolute non-sequiturs. Let’s look at some of the best.
We learn that Mr. DeLeon isn’t from America, so why would he long for the days-of-old that these heritage brands claim inspiration from?
EXACTLY. From now on, unless your family came over on the mayflower – no more dry denim for you!
The first super expensive shirt that the author purchased had a button fall off.
No mention of whether his Band of Outsiders shirt was manufactured in America, and even if it was, how that relates to the rest of the article.
American consumers are currently in love with cheap clothing courtesy of fast-fashion retailers.
No one doubts this and I’m still trying to figure out what assertion in the rest of the article this is supposed to support. He mentions it a few times. So, it’s either critical to his argument or, like the rest of the piece, it’s a totally avant-garde take on essay writing, where normal argument structure and logic are eschewed in favor of statements that scream illogic. Very conceptual. You’re like the Yohji Yamamoto of writing about menswear, dude!
In between describing what childhood memories he misses and what he wore as a youngster, Mr. DeLeon decides to go full-on strawman and pulls apart a few imaginary arguments for buying made-in-America. The first: buying American-made clothing will not combat the masses’ need for low-cost, foreign-made garments. The second: made-in-America is not the end-all-be-all in terms of quality. And third: socially conscious manufacturing exists outside of America. These are just all things that are true and are also sort of/maybe tangentially related to his main thesis. But they definitely aren’t reasons people give for supporting American manufacturing.
Ultimately, writing an article taking down a bunch of strawman arguments is a lot like winning a fight against your imaginary friend - you won, but it was also all in your head and everyone around you thinks you’re crazy.
To read more of what is either a very peculiar rant against made-in-America clothing or, more likely, an avant-garde experiment in trying to make a point - check it out here.