Underscore the relationship between conformity and fashion; mock notions of "style" and "cool" marketed as conformist consumer commodities; play on similarities (sonic and otherwise) between the words and meanings of "fashion" and "fascism"; suggest mass-marketed fashion lines are in fact evoling into the official uniforms of an all-pervasive creeping corporate fascism worldwide.
A parody of the logo that identifies the popular Tommy Hilfiger line of clothing was created by changing the name in the distinctive red, white, and blue flag-style emblem from "Hilfiger" to "Hitler." Thus, the logo read "TOMMY HITLER." The overtly "patriotic" quality of the logo's colors and construct made this treatment of it further apropos, as did news accounts at that time regarding rumors of bigoted remarks attributed to designer Hilfiger himself and the disclosure that another popular contemporary fashion line, Hugo Boss, was descended from the designers of Nazi SS uniforms.
The Tommy Hitler logo was then silk-screened onto about 700 gray speckled t-shirts (the shirt color so chosen because it resembles some of those in the Hilfiger line).
The shirts were then placed among similar shirts on display at various department and clothing stores, one shirt per store, in a nationwide effort launched on July 9, 1997 and continuing still. Many of the shirts were also distributed among friends, associates and well-wishers.
Reading between the fashion lines, clothed-captioned for the underwear impaired, the WearMocked hears the relentless tramp-tramp-tramp of the Ubermodels down the fashion show runway and doesn't like the rhythm, saying "we're not with 'em," because the clothes make the mannequin, man, because you become what you wear and wear what you become, chum, and don't you just look a mess when you dress-to-repress!! We are bad dancers, we don't know how to do the Texas goose-step, we are not getting snappy for this party, no sir, we came ready-to-WearMock and we stare with the eyes of the boy not seeing the Dictator's New clothes and invite all to follow the gaze, so the next time he shows his new Fall-in line maybe we'll be spared the craze.
"Are you comparing the atrocities of the Third Reich to a mere fashion choice?"
We are not. However, the horrors of that regime could have only occurred after a years-long campaign to produce mass-compliance through mass-media seduction. It is this mass-compliance through mass-media seduction that we address. As corporations increasingly are becoming mighty nations unto themselves, (today, 51 of the world's 100 largest economies are corporations) the issue of mass fealty to and identification with their symbols clearly becomes more than just a fashion choice.
"If this trend is so alarming, why isn't anyone talking about it?"
Well, some are, here and in a few other places. But any widespread examination of the subject through conventional media outlets has been virtually impossible because they rely on the fashion industry's advertising dollar and, of course, are usually owned or influenced by corporations themselves.
"It seems a bit arbitrary singling out Hilfiger for this kind of treatment. What makes HIS rags and methods any worse than any of the others?"
Look, we're not saying he's the Leni Rifenstahl of the Fourth Reich or anything, his logo just happened to make for the most effective parody.
"I am a dedicated follower of fashion. This makes me a Nazi?"
It makes you a good follower. And good followers, it has been shown, make great Nazis when the right conditions prevail. Remember, the first Nazis were distinguished by the BROWN SHIRTS they wore and GOERING WORE KHAKIS, too.
The WearMocked wishes to express its enduring gratitude to rtmark and friends for their generous support and sage counsel, without which it would have been impossible to bring "TOMMY HITLER, FASHION NAZI" to you.
Endless thanks as well to the scores of WearMockers who risked serious awkwardness making OUR Tommy a hit in mall after mall and store after store all over this land of ours. And finally, a big hand for all the other hands that screened and typed and did all the things good hands can do in defense of good fashion sense.