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Fashion represents societies, communities, histories and geographies. So it’s quite impossible for it to ignore politics. Fashion questions and asserts political ideology. What better way to do this than through the ubiquitous T-shirt? Many may say that fashion is inherently political, and that it represents power and philosophical ideologies. The slogan T-shirt has emerged as a winner in conveying this ideology.
If you want to understand the politicization of fashion and the sloganization of T-shirts, you just have to look back at history, and then gradually move towards contemporary discussions on fashion and its impact. There have been many controversies connecting fashion to politics and advertising campaigns. Yet, one cannot underestimate the overwhelming power of fashion to influence the masses.
The History of the Talking T-shirt
Whether it’s political campaigns or even the latest Met Gala, fashion has been used as a powerful statement (and a statement is rarely apolitical). Think of Donald Trump’s red ties or the whites worn by the suffragettes in the 20th century. Fashion nuances become iconic and set the tone for political agendas. Remember the beret adorning the iconic Che Guevera’s image or the unmissable Nehru cap? Fashion makes a statement through these nuances.
Thomas Dewey was the first Republican presidential candidate to use the slogan “Dew it with Dewey” for his campaign and even though he lost, the trend was a fierce winner. Ever since, we have seen slogan T-shirts emerge as a key part of campaigns all across the globe. The trend can be applauded as a clever way to create a buzz and influence the masses. One cannot deny that no matter what is being said, when you print it on a T-shirt, it is likely to last longer. In fact, words become slogans when they adorn a T-shirt. Slogans become art, which eventually becomes fashion.
Showing Solidarity, Showing Resistance
Protests of all shapes and sizes have used slogan T-shirts to convey their message. It is the best way of showing solidarity with any movement. Whether it is feminism or gender equality, slogan T-shirts are the perfect way to start a debate. Some of the most powerful modern day protests would not have been complete without slogan T-shirts, whether it was the Black Lives Matter movement or the climate change rallies.
With digital print technology, it has become very easy to print pretty much anything on T-shirts. It is only a matter of time before some slogans resonate and stand out.
Great conversation starters
Apart from making political statements, slogan T-shirts can be great conversation starters on class, race, gender and caste. Many high street fashion brands have put iconic symbols on their T-shirts, showcasing women’s empowerment, apartheid, climate change, and so on. These have not only made statements, but have encouraged other people to start talking about them.
London’s Museum of Fashion and Textile exhibited 200 iconic T-shirts that impacted fashion. So great is the reach and impact of slogan T-shirts, that they even grace the runway these days. Fashion designers like Dior, Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren have showcased powerful slogans in their extravagant fashion collections.
Capitalism of politics?
While slogan T-shirts have caused huge movements, they have also generated criticism because of their exorbitant price tags. Fashion brands have been accused of taking advantage of social movements to promote themselves. Historically, T-shirts emerged as a strong political tool because of their affordability. Anyone and everyone who supported a movement could wear a slogan T-shirt. This has changed today. One wonders if fashion brands are simply harnessing the sentiments of the masses to sell their apparel, or if they truly echo the sentiments being expressed through the clothing they manufacture and sell.
All hail the power of the T-shirt
Political or apolitical, the T-shirt is one piece of clothing that has withstood the test of time.
If you are looking to create a new collection of T-shirts this season, why not consider adding slogan T-shirts to the mix? You can create slogans for various themes, sports, entertainment, music and of course, politics.
People today want to wear their political choices on their sleeve – quite literally! So, you can come up with catchy taglines and slogans in bright colours. If you are looking for a leading manufacturer to create this collection of slogan T-shirts, get in touch with Fashinza.
We connect leading brands around the world with leading apparel manufacturers and suppliers. We work with them to produce trend-setting fashion apparel. What’s more, you can stay in touch with the entire process, from design to delivery, through an app. Get in touch with Fashinza today.