FASHION MAKING POLITICAL STATEMENTS: HIGH TIMES RETURNS TO ITS YIPPIE ROOTS
As the makeup of the fashion beast morphs from industry-led institution into a more consumer dictated dialogue, designers and brands are adapting in different ways. While some redirect their focus towards China, making collections more palatable for the booming Asian market, others are digging deeper into what they know best—taking cues from the streets and harnessing the spirit of unrest to make a statement.
When Maria Grazia Chiuri made a feminist debut at Dior last year, she pre-empted an unforeseen global turn of momentum for women. A different social movement was muse for Alexander Wang, Jeremy Scott, Baja East, and Creatures of the Wind. Her name; Mary Jane. Following the legalization of cannabis for both recreational and medical use in a growing number of states, the print-porn worthy leaves of the plant were seen being infused in all things from Michelin-rated meals, to Fashion Week offerings.
The Vogue of the cannabis industry, High Times Magazine, now fast approaching its 45th year of publication, has a pilot’s view of what’s in store:
Alexander Wang AW16
“If you dig into the rebel roots of the Yippie movement back in ’67, which was one of the major voices in early cannabis legalization in America, the Yippies resorted to unconventional tactics to push the agenda of anti-corruption, world peace, and radical drug legalization. You’ll find that that same spirit is again alive in the streets of New York and in cities across the country right now. These kids are using clothing to respond to shifts in government positions towards cannabis. It’s a middle finger up to the appointment of Jeff Sessions, a protest sign they can rock on a daily basis, or an invitation to debate on whether or not this plant, used in so many positive ways, really should be regarded in the same realm as Schedule One drugs like heroin. The Women’s March have their signature pink pussy hats, the Cannabis movement has ‘Love Your Dealer’ gear and ‘Adults Only’ patches.”
"The thing is, everybody smokes. Our THC hoodie is on models at NYFW, kids at grimy skate parks, Jewish kids driving around Beverly Hills, the Wall Street guy on the weekend. We've even seen our coaches jacket on a grandmother in Colorado."
As grass comes out of the grassroots and into everyday conversations in homes across America, will High Times gear follow?
"We're going to be wherever cannabis is. Our collaboration with artist Ron English was super successful, so we're looking to keep finding these folks that really understand the culture and explore making cool shit with them, be that Vetements or Vans."