By Kai Flanders
If you want to be Tyler, The Creator for Halloween this year — and who doesn't? — just head over to Urban Outfitters.
The Westwood and Santa Monica locations, in any case, feature ready-to-wear outfits almost certainly directly inspired by the Odd Future leader.
In fact, this summer some of their main display tables in the men's sections had the get-up: outlandishly colorful Hawaiian t-shirts, cut-off shorts — cargo, denim, paisley — and high socks.
The display has since been taken down and moved to the sales rack, but you can still get the look — including the knockoff Vans, located right near the shirts. (The selection at the Westwood store is especially good.) All that's missing is the Supreme cap.
“I bought a Hawaiian tee myself,” an employee named Jason at the Santa Monica location tells us while he's stacking trucker caps. “People would come up to me at parties and ask if liked Tyler or shout 'Golf Wang!'” He adds that the outfit sold well at the beginning of the summer, right as the “Yonkers” video was reaching a massive mainstream audience.
All of this begs the question: Is this cool, or just crass commodification? Urban Outfitters, of course, is in the business of recognizing fringe trends and mass producing them. A Sparknotes guide to hipsterdom, if you will. And business is lucrative; the chain had over two billion in revenue last year. It shows just how big OFWGKTA has gotten — the group has officially come to the mall.
You could fret that when something underground becomes popular it loses relevance, or you could argue that an artist like Tyler — with his fierce individualism — has the potential to somehow make the mainstream more relevant. He certainly did that on his way up: who could have predicted that tacky Hawaiian tees would suddenly become vogue, or that Kanye West would find regurgitating cockroaches compelling?
Odd Future is undoubtedly original. So is it really so bad that Tyler is being sold at the mall?