I don’t follow fashion that much, but these t-shirts, featuring a European Neo-Nazi ‘White Power’ cross in rainbow colours, caught my attention. After all, that symbol adorned with the LGBT colours is a curious juxtaposition of ideals at best, and a cheap marketing ploy at worst.
Collaboration between Rapper Tyler the Creator and his LA-based fashion collective Golf Wang resulted in the design. In a statement released on Tyler’s Tumblr three days ago he explained how it came about:
What if a black guy wore this logo on a shirt? Would he be promoting self-hate? Would he be taking the power out of the shape? What if a gay guy wore this shirt? Would he be promoting homophobia? Then BAM! I had it. Throw a little rainbow in the logo.”
However, some people have questioned if Tyler’s motives are pure. His album ‘Goblin’, released back in 2011 on XL Recordings, used the word “faggot” and other variants of what NME described as “anti-gay” lyrics, 213 times. Defending himself, he argued that he was:
trying to take the power out of something, I WAS NEVER REFERRING TO SOMEONE’S SEXUAL PREFERENCE WHEN USING THAT WORD.
This isn’t the first time that ‘Nazi related’ fashion has caused a stir. High street chain Zara were forced to pull the plug on a handbag emblazoned with swastikas in 2007 and last year Boy London were forced to refute claims that their logo bares a “striking resemblance” to an Eagle design used by the far-right fascists.
It seems that, despite being a bunch of pricks, the Nazis actually had some real talent on their graphic design team. Maybe their branding was influenced by Hugo Boss who we all know made most of their uniforms.
Perhaps Tyler was making a deep statement about equality or maybe he is just being deliberately controversial in order to sell an increased number of t-shirts. What do you think?