Fads and Trends

“Did you see what so-and-so was wearing yesterday?” This is a typical statement made by young people nation-wide. Fads and trends come and go, and when they leave, some eventually make their way back. But, how do they get here? Who initializes them as popular? And how do others behave when they adopt them?

The New York Post and USA Today have recently observed the interesting method by which certain sneaker companies use to popularize their latest shoe models. First, they use inner-city Americans to advertise them. This actually means that they desire to plant the shoes with gang members, preferably their leaders. To spark the fuse for the successful marketing of the new shoe models gang bangers, “gangsta” rappers, and assorted groups of delinquents from dangerous communities are utilized. As far as tennis shoes go, these individuals set the scale for popular trends among the American youth. “Once the baddest boys wear ‘em,” stated writer Phil Mushnick of the NY Post, “it would only be a few months before suburban kids stormed America’s shopping malls in a frenzy to get theirs.” In an effort to exploit this pattern of thinking, the athletic company named Converse created only two color schemes when selling the prototype Converse Dennis Rodman sneaker. The colors included were: red, black, and white, which are worn by the gang named Bloods; and also blue and white, which are affiliated with the gang the Crips.

Another facet of trend and fad cycles includes the behavior of those who follow them. Some might expect that when an individual purchases a shoe used to play a sport, that they would use them for that specific purpose. However, after considering the ploy by which marketers advertise their shoe products, it can be discerned that more superficial intentions exist. Whether youths obtain shoes or clothing that has been made popular by thugs and criminals, they do so to be identified with those sorts of lifestyles. Yet, it is important to note that not all young people seek to emulate these groups through copying their physical appearances. Still, the numbers of youths that do follow this course also adopt a new behavioral pattern. Such an example occurred when a high school student wore a new model of Nike tennis shoes. Knowing that the colors featured on the shoes represented a local gang, the young man falsely stated to be affiliated with that gang. Unfortunately, several days later he was approached by actual members of this gang and was violently attacked. They also stole his shoes.

Surely, it is apparent that a certain way of dress and pattern of acting are closely related. Sometimes, in an effort to be accepted or revered by a group of people, youths turn to acquiring the latest and most popular items the malls have to offer. As for the young man that was attacked, he sought to be recognized with the dangerous prestige that comes hand in hand with being in a gang. All these instances point to an ongoing and seemingly unstoppable cycle that is produced from trends and fads. And apparently, marketers feel that as long as money still exists, they are willing to take advantage of this. Knowing this crucial piece of information of young Americans, the race to create better, newer, stronger, and faster trends steadily continues. And it all starts with a few words; “Did you see what so-and-so was wearing yesterday? I wonder where she/he got them?”