The Top 10 Reasons Why People Wear NASA Clothing
Why everyone is sporting clothing with the NASA logo
The Big Apple (CNN Business) - A 30-minute walk through New York City, on any given day, is likely to turn up at least a few instances of the NASA emblem.
They can be found on jackets, tote bags, hats, sweatshirts, sneakers, t-shirts, backpacks, and sneakers.
It's difficult to stop noticing them once you start.
In recent years, the phenomenon has been the subject of numerous trend articles.
And Bert Ulrich, NASA's multimedia liaison, monitors the use of NASA trademarks in film, television, and apparel.
Affirms that there is still a strong market for NASA-branded clothing, at least based on the number of logo deals he has been clearing.
He has been in his position for more than twenty years, so he has witnessed the ebb and flow of trends. mainly flow
According to Ulrich of CNN Business, some of the most recent sales spikes can be attributed to a surprising source:
American luxury fashion label Coach, which released a range of NASA-branded clothing in 2017.
Coach initially contacted NASA to request permission to use the "worm" emblem, a vintage style that the space agency utilized from 1975 to 1992.
Ulrich claimed that NASA, which had prohibited Coach from using the worm after it was deactivated in the 1990s, had changed its mind.
And the "worm" has subsequently been used again in official capacities, solidifying its enduring popularity, at least among ardent space enthusiasts.
Things erupted with the release of the Coach clothing line.
"Before 2017, we approved five to ten logos per week. We now travel 225 miles on average per week," according to Ulrich.
He claimed that "almost 11,000 requests" were made last year, which was a record.
Ulrich said that not all of the requests are granted.
But the fact that these businesses are not required to obtain a license for the logo.
Maybe the reason there is such a desire to slap the NASA insignia on anything from Vans sneakers to trucker hats.
All of it is free, and NASA doesn't profit in any way from it.
Because NASA is a government organization, many of its assets, including images, logos, and even technology designs, are in the public domain, which is not how license agreements generally operate.
As required by law, a company only needs to send an email to NASA's merchandising department if it wishes to print NASA emblems on t-shirts or coffee mugs.
Normally, Ulrich receives it in his inbox.
Ulrich's responsibility is limited to ensuring that the logo is utilized in accordance with the space agency's approved aesthetic standards.
No utilizing, say, authorized colors.
Naturally, NASA also wishes to prevent any improper uses of its brand, such as any that would imply NASA is endorsing a particular business or item.
According to Ulrich, NASA's legal department frequently sends a cease and desist letter to businesses that abuse the emblem.
High-end designers like Heron Preston and, more recently, Balenciaga, released their own designs when Coach debuted its range of NASA gear.
NASA was the subject of a song and a complete line of merchandise by pop singer Ariana Grande.
In the previous ten years, there were other brands including Adidas, Swatch, and Vans.
This perspective allows us to explain the phenomenon in terms of what we'll refer to as the "Miranda Preistly effect."
Do you recall the scene from "The Devil Wears Prada" (2006) where Meryl Streep's character Priestly angrily berates her young, fashion-illiterate intern?
The blue sweater she's wearing is actually "cerulean," according to her, and it's just as much a creation of industry tycoons fascinated with fashion as anything on the runway.
Priestly believed that fashion media and designers essentially nurture trends, and even the least engaged consumers are affected by their choices.
Jahn Hall, the creative director of Brooklyn-based design firm Consortium, which handles set design and styling for multiple companies, claims that's only half the story.
According to Hall, youngsters used to purchase NASA t-shirts from vintage shops before Coach.
Because they liked the nostalgic vibe and melancholy of an item of traditional Americana.
"You start with kids in areas like New York buying things like old Disney products or old NASA t-shirts, and then all of a sudden some like 'cool hunter' in the fashion industry sees it and goes, 'We should turn some NASA-branded t-shirts around,'" Hall said.
"It's sort of trend reverse engineering,"
Designer brands most likely only caught on and sold it back to them once the "cool kids" started walking around in NASA T-shirts.
According to Brooklyn-based creative director Hall.
Wearing the NASA logo is more about displaying what it stands for than it is about expressing one's love of space.
He described it as embodying "that sort of pure American idealism that we can do anything."
He continued, that it is politically neutral and can be advertised to both young liberals and conservatives from rural areas while evoking the same nostalgia.
"As with everyone else, those who work for companies like Heron Preston and Balenciaga are fascinated by the concept of space flight.
It makes obvious that these businesses, would want to include that into their own collections as no one is immune to that sort of nostalgia," he said.
He points out that it has happened with other emblems and brands, such as Coach and Mickey Mouse or Balenciaga's collaborations with "The Simpsons."
No matter their social situation, everyone can relate to these timeless symbols.
Everyone understands the current Americana of brands like NASA, Disney, Peanuts, and The Simpsons, he added.
But not everyone may connect with Heron Preston or Target.
"Things like NASA kind of function as this magical equalizer."
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