My eighty six year old grandmother does not understand fashion.
She fails to see the point. My eighteen year old sister’s attempt at delving into the value of her Timberland boots and how they were ‘not just any boots’ left a niggling look on our grandmother’s long in the tooth beautiful face.
This is generation gap. It goes beyond fashion. Having lived through the colonial as well as the 1950s pre-genocide Rwandan era, her take on the way things were and the way they turned out can be quite insightful. The dominating thought is that times have changed and the younger generation is not able to see that - at the same time the older generation is still trying to understand the change. It is imperative to note that the reality of ‘generation gap’ may vary from continent to continent, country to country, tradition to tradition, family to family. That said, conversations with my grandmother will forever instill in me a long standing antithesis.
During my early teens, I used to own everything from Lot 29, Sean John (Yes, I am antediluvian) to Rocawear. Lest we forget FUBU. New Era Hats off to the people behind these rather successful brands - they evidently put the WORK IN! Get yours. My only concern was that kids who owned close to nothing would go broke trying to own one of these brands. Then we had ones that owned counterfeit brands just to look the part. That Nike logo is not hard to duplicate. Kids as young as thirteen are able to Pablo the heck out of their Teacher’s signature.
Let me preach to the choir here [Clears throat]. There is nothing new under the sun; it is not about what you do but how it is done. Everything that you ever decide to take on has already been done before; so if you plan on doing it - you better do it well. Even better if you bloody can.
Real recognize real. The half decrepitated story. There is a pair of shoes named Masai Barefoot Technology that I fell in love with back in 2011 - but have since failed to find them being sold anywhere in East Africa. I believe the company went bankrupt.
Just to give you a bit more context:
MBTs have been available on the market since 1996. But practical proof of the effectiveness of this technology has been provided for thousands of years by the Masai, a semi-nomadic tribe from East Africa well-known for their excellent posture. joint and back pain are mostly unknown among them, they enjoy stable health and remarkable athletic ability. It was left to Swiss engineer Karl Müller to discover the secret of the Masai: the simple fact that walking barefoot on soft, natural ground means that they have to balance their bodies with each and every step.
Now that you have all met Karl. Does anybody want to join me on the search for whoever represented the Masai in this business venture? Surely there must be more to this story. Anywho, MBTs are hella expensive and I have been saving up for a pair of MBT boots for the longest time now.
My birthday is on April 19 for anyone that wants to… No? Oh well, worth a try.
Let us moonwalk and survey all of this. What is real? What is fake? More importantly - what is the original idea? It has never really been about reinventing the wheel. The wheel was invented to facilitate movement. Rubber on tyres then became a requisite attribute to allow friction. Rubber tyre was then used to make sandals - which in turn inspired the MBT brand; designed to make you feel like you are walking on sand. Barefoot. Technology.
The end result might be authentic but that does not necessarily make something original. That, ladies and gentlemen, is my humble viewpoint. What is authenticity to you?