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Even the Inaugural Fashion is K-Shaped

Dior Jordans and Upcycled Gloves
January 22, 2021

The K-shaped recovery was on display at the Capitol this week at the inauguration of the 46th US President, Joseph R Biden, and the first woman Vice President, Kamala Harris.

In the words of Stefon of SNL fame: this inauguration had everything. Lady Gaga was dressed like Eva Peron. Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman was decked in Prada. Nikolas Ajagu, Vice President Kamala Harris’ nephew-in-law rocked Dior x Jordans. And while lots of fuss has been made about Bernie’s gifted upcycled gloves, peep his disposable mask

And in becoming an ironic fashion icon, Bernie is accurately representing his rural Vermont constituency.

The speed of meme culture fueled lightning-speed commerce activity. Highsnobiety created a “steal his look” $2,500 luxe version of the Bernie Inaugural outfit within minutes. Less than 24-hours later, Bernie himself is selling $45 sweatshirts of the meme to donate to charity. And Amazon made a lookalike parka their deal of the day. All examples of the widening gap between the haves and the have-nots.

While a lot of the Twittersphere will focus on the losers of the K-Shape, our focus is on the emergent psychographic of those in the lower segment. The creators, the hustlers, the makers, the founders, see this as a challenge to overcome and an opportunity to ascend. And at no prior point in history have they had greater access to more tools to do that. They’re part of the DIY Era, where second and third-order effects of the digitally native creator allow them to re-inspire a new generation through content creation, and fuel their enterprise with audience-rich, commerce capable platforms. 

Those platforms are numerous today. Fiverr, Etsy, TheRealReal, ThredUp, and Poshmark have all gone public in recent years. Poshmark’s S-1 filing mentioned its top curators as being part of the “passion economy”, making a living by growing their side-hustle of flipping luxury merch on the platform to a full-time career. In December the brand launched the Heart & Hustle Community Fund to help sellers do just that. Creators on these platforms now have more than just a channel, they have a strategic growth partner.

These platforms depend on curation. According to Statista, ThredUp had over 21 Million items on the platform. And that was over two years ago, ahead of its IPO. Curation, and discovery, are integral to user experience on such a platform, and so the curator is of utmost importance. 

The ultimate question: can curator work on these platforms prove an in-demand, emergent, digital skill so important that it can provide a path into the middle class for an aspirational soul? One lucrative enough for them to afford the Dior, the Prada, and the Lady Gaga-inspired gold brooches, that they’re so quickly curating for others to buy? Time will tell.


Do you hear that? It’s the sound of millions of zoomers rising in harmony. TikTok’s Duet feature got tons of action this week: Bridgerton fandom assembled to begin #bridgertonthemusical and “Sea Shanty” graduated from joke-spotify-wrapped-genre to full blown online phenomenon.

Never thought I’d have to worry about fascist pillows. The Daily Mail aired his dirty laundry, revealing a rumored secret relationship with actress Jane Krakowski and his attempts to “stop the steal” left him hung out to dry by retailers like Bed Bath & Beyond and Kohl’s.

Source: Musa Turiq

On Biden’s big day, the Vermont senator’s winter attire managed to steal the show. The Bernie meme has exploded and subsequently been co-opted by brands everywhere. Some are still pretty funny, but if you haven’t posted yours yet, it’s probably best to hang up your mittens and wait until the next time around. Also, the story behind his mittens is heartwarming.

Move over, Puppuccinos! As if Ben & Jerry weren’t already our top choice of crew to Netflix & chill with, now they’ve shown up and shown out with their new Doggie Desserts ice cream. Finally, our furry friends can watch Steel Magnolias with us and cry in their ice cream, too.

Life imitates art. This week a capital rioter stole Nancy Pelosi’s laptop and tried to sell it to the Russians, a la Burn After Reading and a man channeling his best Tom Hanks in The Terminal was living in Chicago's OHare airport for three months before finally being detected by authorities.

In a letter to Biden, Amazon offered to help him distribute the vaccine to reach his goal of 100 million vaccinations in his first 100 days in office. Based on the long-lasting feud between Trump and Jeff Bezos, we’re guessing the other letter that went out a year ago must have just gotten lost in the mail.

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