A Diamond’s Eye View of the World

a multi-faceted look at the middle east, and the middle west

fashion: the best defense?

Posted by adiamondinsunlight on July 14, 2008

Saturday morning, while lugging three big bags of groceries home from the supermarket (and thinking nerdily to myself: three bags full), I looked into a boutique window and saw a t-shirt design that seemed more appropriate for Lebanon:

To be honest, I’m not sure why Brooklyn needs defending, or whether the t-shirt is being properly marketed. After all, the only people invading Brooklyn these days are yuppies and self-proclaimed hipsters. I doubt that Brooklyn’s long-time residents, who could legitimately claim to be its defenders, shop at the chi-chi store where this shirt is for sale.

And I bet that few Brooklynites, at least in our little gentrified area, think of that gun as an object they see on a daily basis. Here’s a close-up of the shirt:

I’m not claiming to have stumbled upon a new trend. The shirts have actually been around for over ten years, produced by a company also called Defend Brooklyn.

Portable machine gun … green t-shirt … I think that there could be a great market for these shirts in Lebanon. We could make them in choose-your-own-adventure options: single-affiliation neighborhoods could come in one color, while contested neighborhoods could come in multiples.

Hence for example a “Defend the Metn” shirt could come in several shades, while a “Defend Ouzai” shirt would have, er, fewer.

I think it could be a rich business opportunity – and much more socially conscious than the “Hi, Kifak, ca va?” t-shirts I’ve seen for sale at various Beirut bazaars.

But I’m not sure its the business for us. There’s something about a t-shirt decorated with “Defend Sanayeh” and a gun that makes me ill.


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