A $23K T-shirt

If you’re in the T-shirt business how could a headline like this not catch your eye?:

“Supreme T-shirt Featuring Image Of Donald Trump Has Sold For $23K.”

I’ll have that Donald Trump T-shirt please!

Let’s face it, the backbone of our industry is a cheap, bottom-of-the-fashion-chain, piece of cotton cloth that serves equally well as a garment as it does a car-cleaning rag or the dog’s bedding. So how does a Tee come to be worth $23K, or even the $1.5K it sold for just nine months before it re-sold for $23K?

Well, first it has to be deemed collectible by someone apparently with more money than sense. Then to be deemed collectible all it seems to have to do is sport the name of a line of garments known to only produce limited editions and feature someone “famous”. If the image is a design by someone also “famous”, so much the better.

And that’s how this Tee became a $23K collectible — it has all the necessary ingredients. It is a super-rare Tee produced by Supreme (of the famous limited edition reputation and box logo) with a design of a “famous” person by a “famous” artist, in this case the Russian artist and activist, Andrei Molodkin.

If, like me, you still don’t understand why anybody would pay $23K for a Tee-shirt, even a rare one, then perhaps this explanation by a consumer psychologist will help: “We collect articles or resources to survive, but survival doesn’t only rest upon what we need physically. We need, psychologically, to distinguish ourselves. In the past, tribes would decorate themselves with feathers or precious stones to set them apart from other tribe members and attract potential mates. In the same way, collecting Supreme really allows people to build their identities with rare objects.”

I wonder how many “potential mates ” a Donald Trump Tee will attract?