VOGUE (Italy) - - OPINIONS - By An­ders Ch­ri­stian Mad­sen

When I was gro­wing up in the 1990s, you had fan mer­chan­di­se and you had fa­shion. A Mi­chael Jack­son Dan­ge­rous

World Tour T- shirt w as c on­si­de­red a t r ibal bad­ge of be­lon­ging, whe­reas a Calvin Klein cK Jeans T- shirt was con­si­de­red a s ta­tus sym­bol.

To Ge­ne­rat ion Z - tho­se born i n 1995 on­wards - the­se t wo ob­ject ives seem to ha­ve mer­ged. De­si­gners are now su­per­stars on a par with ac­tors and sin­gers, and their lo­gos si­gni­fy way mo­re than ju­st fan­dom. They tell your peers, no doubt as hy­per-in­for­med as you are, that you ‘get it’, even if you don’t real­ly get what it is you’re get t i ng. The at on­ce ama­zing and de­tri­men­tal im­pact of Ge­ne­ra­tion Z will be their wil­ling­ness to ma­ke a star out of any­thing that ge­ts enou­gh li­kes on In­sta­gram. The­re will b e n o s uch t hing a s n iche o r un­der­ground f ashion i n the f utu­re.

Ever y de­si­gner, big or smal l , is ma­gni f ied th­rou­gh the lens of so­cial me­dia. Ho­we­ver whi le the wa­ve of street­wear we’re cur­ren­tly seeing wi l l con­ti­nue due to the new ge­ne­ra­tion’s at t it ude to dress co­des, I think the fu­tu­re of men­swear will be even mo­re re­fe­ren­tial than it i s now.

The cur­rent ge­ne­ra­tion of emer­ging de­si­gners in Lon­don is re­fe­ren­cing true de­si­gn ge­niu­ses like John Gal­lia­no, Jean Paul Gaultier and Vi­vien­ne We­st­wood. In Par i s, they’re al l about the great con­cep­tua­lists su­ch a s Mar­tin Mar­gie­la and Helmut Lang. As so­cial me­dia con­ti­nues to de­ve­lop, I think this sen­se of no­stal­gia-fuel­led ni­che kno­w­led­ge will broa­den even mo­re, get mo­re eso­te­ric and mo­re ob­scu­re, and chal len­ge that t r ibal sen­se of sta­tus and be­lon­ging of al l the new fa­shion kids out the­re. The men­swear you’re seen in wi l l be te­sta­ment to your ar­ca­ne com­pre­hen­sion of al l the­se things. We can on­ly ho­pe t he ap­pre­ciat ion of craf t sman­ship, ex­cel len­ce and de­si­gn ge­nius of the old guard wi l l in­spi­re Ge­ne­ra­tion Z - of ten as­so­cia­ted with f id­get spin­ners and Su­pre­me too­th­bru­shes - to be as ana­ly­ti­cal and thought-pro­vo­king i n their own ap­proa­ch to f ashion. As long as it aspi­res to chan­ge the world th­rou­gh weeks of hand­work, I don’t see any­thing wrong with a t rack­suit.

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