By Tahmari Tupponce
I love streetwear. Love, love, love it. The fact that you can go to a thrift store, cut up an old Champion hoodie, buy $2 Adidas sweatpants with stains, and somehow still manage to look like Rihanna? Unbelievable. But streetwear has failed me, and has been failing all of us for the past few years. Streetwear in this day and age is just a strange hodgepodge of late stage capitalism, hype and pretentiousness. Vetements’ collabs were cool at first, but the rate at which they’ve been released is pretty strange for a supposedly “high-fashion” brand.
Labels like Off-White and Vetements aim to “elevate streetwear” which, when done right, is rewarding. However now, with the success of these labels, everyone thinks they’re some sort of ingénue and with an incoherent string of words on a shirt and a expertly hyped pop-up, you too can be the latest brand to take the streetwear world by storm. Bonus points if at said popup, there’s a collab with another lazy setup brand or a pretentious “performance artist” whose “work” would not have even made it past the first week of VCU’s art foundation program.
And thus we come to the abomination that is Anti-Social Social Club, the Frankenstein of streetwear. I first noticed their clothes on tumblr teenagers and thought the pink logo was cute. I only ever saw tees and hoodies, but teens are broke. I was sure when I looked up the full range there would be shorts, skirts, varying shirts, etc. Uh, no. I was surprised, but unfortunately not shocked when I looked up their official website (a tumblr page no less!) and was greeted with their latest drop: The same “Anti-Social Social Club” tees a million times, but with a few extra colors. I’ll give them credit, there was a bandana that was pretty cute… but come on. You would think that years past their inception there would be more variety, but this is it. Looking for answers, I found that the creator of the brand himself has been working at Stussy for around 10 years. It seems like this guy knew what ingredients it took to easily make a “brand” and sell to teenagers who will buy anything if it’s been reblogged a million times.
What does Anti-Social Social Club mean anyway? With an interesting name like that you would think the theme would be expounded upon some more but… nah. All we ever see are “sad-kids” looking melancholy, with the logo obnoxiously visible in a clearly planned shoot, captioned like, “no one ever hears my voice,” to their 40k followers. Ok. Sure kid.
Branding is everything in streetwear, but a nice logo should only be the start, not the entirety of the brand. I think ASS Club (an actual nickname) could be so, so, so much better if there were more effort put in, but the owner seems content with just letting it be and making money off of the bare minimum.