I’ve been surrounded by enough athletic people (ie. my entire family) to know that Under Armour is “the brand” of choice for professional sports teams, jocks and anyone remotely into jogging… but the proposition that Under Armour may be the go-to fashion brand for the crusaders of the internet? Now that just doesn’t make sense.
I first noticed this oddity on an episode of PBS’s Off Book web series when internet artist and curator Ryder Ripps appeared sporting a white, short-sleeved geometrically-speckled Under Armour T-Shirt. Paired with a backwards neon-green-trimmed hat and sunglasses suspiciously shaped like swimming goggles, this actually was not a bad look, but the absurd representation got me thinking. (See more photos of Ripps in Under Armour here.)
A few days later, when casually taking in one of new media/performance/video artist Ryan Trecartin’s spastic, yet fascinating short films, I spotted one of his “working child actors” in a two-toned Under Armour jersey, even amongst all the ADHD-fueled activity.
Finally, while creeping on 14-year-old dubstep artist, rapper, and GIF artist Glasspopcorn’s dump.fm profile, I found this Photo Booth portait of him wearing a grey, lime-green-accented zip-up jacket.
It’s important to mention that all three of these artists’ lives are linked and intertwined (potentially waiting for some poor sucker like me to point out their practical joke). Ripp’s founded the image sharing chat community dump.fm and has collaborated with Glasspopcorn on the song “Ed Hardy.” Just this last Wednesday, Glasspopcorn performed at the closing reception for Trecartin’s solo show Any Ever at MoMA PS1.
If in fact this really is an emerging fashion trend, could it be that “professional web surfers” or hyperactive GIF makers wear Under Armour to increase their “performances?” Does the gripping, sweat-proof fabric make them look more fit while hunched over their keyboards and posing for their webcams? Could it be that the phrase “Under Armour” is a clever metaphor for the shield/protective barrier the internet can provide?
Is this a legitimate trend, or do serious internet artists really prefer Burberry? Either way, we know what our next fashion purchase needs to be.