Saturday, May 30, 2009


I was just kidding about the title to this blog. (Or was I?) Anyhow…

I had the chance to spend some quality time with my cousin yesterday. When he arrived at my house to pick me up, the first thing that I noticed was that he was all decked out in new LA Lakers apparel as well as a Nike headband and shoes. I knew that game six between the Lakers and the Nuggets was going to be held later in the evening. So I had a feeling that was why he was dressed up. However, I decided to ask him anyways why he had new clothes on. I wanted to know why he was dressed up like a basketball player when all we had planned was to go help my aunt kill the weeds in her backyard. My cousin then confirmed to me that he was indeed in basketball clothing because of the game; he wanted to show support for the Lakers. In addition, he told me that he was going to go play basketball with some friends after we were done helping my aunt. "I am going to need the need the 'proper' attire," he said.

Overall, recalling my conversation with my cousin made me realize two things. First, it made realize that the sports industry is an institution. According to Yuniya Kawamura, "Fashion as an institution produce hierarchy among all makers of clothes by adding social, economic, cultural and symbolic capital to clothes, which are then transformed into luxury, elite clothes" (55). Looking at the sports industry, it can be seen that it does all of those things that fashion does. Take Nike, for instance. Nike sells sports products. In order for the company to sell its merchandise, professional athletes are usually hired in advertisements. When audiences see these ads, it makes them want to get the products that they see. To them, having those advertised items will help them play a sport better. In addition, it will help them have a "sense of superiority" because they have products that elite athletes have/use (55). The whole cycle then just repeats itself.

Here is a commercial that I found. It clearly exemplifies what I was trying to say above.

(The kid in the video knows that Lebron and Kobe are respectable basketball players. Because of that fact, he tries to inquire information about them. He wants to know how they became great basketball players. For instance, he states: Kobe, do you practice your dunks?" A statement such as this shows how fascinated he is with these players because they are perceived as some of the world's finest basketball players. In additon, by asking so many questions, it shows how he is trying to find a way to be like them. This includes knowing what type of shoes they have. Overall, this example shows how people on the top of the social ladder as well as the economic ladder are leaders of institutions. A trickle down effect will result, and then people will start to copy the fashion, for instance, of the elite.)

The second thing that my conversation with my cousin reminded me of is that there is a way to be green, fight consumerism, and still support one's favorite team at the same time. One doesn't need to have a jersey, headband, etc. that has one's favorite team's logo on it. Instead, one can simply reuse the clothes that one already has. For instance, one can wear clothes that are the same color as one's favorite sports team. A simple shirt will do. By reusing what one already has, one is fighting consumerism as well as showing some love for his/her favorite team.

Kawamura, Yuniya. Fashion-ology An Introduction to Fashion Studies (Dress, Body, Culture). New York: Berg, 2005.

1 comment:

be green 101 said...

Go Orlando!!!!!!!!!!!!