I swear I thought of this in the 90’s.
However, I (and probably you too) are likely not the first to have this idea. Most of us alive today weren’t having ideas in the 70’s- when some of the best stuff came our way (the floppy-disk…timeless).
My plan was to write a statement (or at least something that would be interpreted as such) on the front of a plain white T-shirt, perhaps with an accompanying picture. It was essential that the sentence would be taken as a statement, if only extremely personally- to the author/wearer.
The idea was another one that I laid back on my laurels for- leading to its distinct lack of materialisation. You probably didn’t notice that this idea of mine never bore fruit, largely because it had nothing to do with fruit- unless it was on a T-shirt and being witty. There’s a market in making objects appear witty. Just take toilet seats- everyone gets the joke. Or telephones.
First of all, there was the name of the company label. You know- the one you’ve never heard of.
‘None Of A Kind’…..oooh.
These T-shirts are so unique that even they aren’t like them.
There would be nothing like this, and that was the point. Repetition is death in culture- something the easily bored appreciate greatly- once. A repeated statement is listened to, but dull. That’s why they change them.
Then there was what was to be the goal of every piece of produce produced. Let extreme relativity be the essence of the output.
Originality was being moral, a good thing, whilst also making these T-shirts ones that were easy to kill was another.
The idea of killing the T-shirt was harsh, but would mean that the one-time statement could be let out for a temporary-while, allowed to fade from the linen and out of the mind, having done its part, and leaving a gloriously stained canvas all over your chest. Non-permanent ink was a favourite tool, whilst permanent ink also did well because they are bollocks and not in a good, permanent way. We were going to kill the fashion and start over. Naturally.
Tattoos just can’t do this. They take themselves too seriously, and often too shitly.
I understand that this might be a common undertone in the ethos of many other companies- but truly: ‘Allow not one shit-bit’ was something to throw at the wall until it stopped bouncing back. Then again, maybe the ‘bouncing back’ (here meaning- the return of unsightly ideas and repetition) would fire up the engines of the artist, thus equating to an artist ready for whatever might come to them next.
The problem with the tattoo stain is that, whilst being permanent is beautiful in its way, it has a flaw in that beauty. The problem with being permanent is that it can last too long. You’ve probably noticed. You’ve probably been noticing for a long time.
‘None Of A Kind’ was going to be like beach art- it would leave us alone when it was done. Art that would bugger off when you were done with it. This also depended on the month- the sweat of July would eradicate nicely if you let it.
You don’t need to be rich to have an original ‘None Of A Kind’. Let’s be honest- we really can’t appreciate how tough the rich have it because you’re just an average person born to death whilst hopefully wearing a super-cool T-shirt. Aside from hoping your crops grow, what more could you ask for?
Jeez I hope you’re crops do well this harvest. I’m sure that’s weary on your mind. Crops- got to love them.
Also that you birth only males. I would never wish upon you a legacy of daughters.
Ok, so may your loins only bear sons, may your crops be luscious and fruitful (and the same goes for your sons) and I hope your T-shirts are super cool. I don’t think I even need to suggest you have a nice day- that’s hardly the point. Having a nice day might be one of the worst things that happen to you. A super cool T-shirt; well done….well done.
The price of one white T-shirt, a permanent marker, preferably black and then the mere price of workmanship, although the best part of this was that you’d be doing this yourself. No cost of workmanship, and an extremely personal or appropriate message, this was awesome. A brand name that was to be taken, sabotaged by the individual and therefore successful- you can understand that this whole idea was probably too theoretical and unlikely to be initiated from the get-go. Whatever a ‘get-go’ might be.
‘Graffiti that follows you to work’- was another way of looking at it.
The moral message of graffiti is to alter your environment in severe contrast to advertising and grey corporate bullshit. This is why graffiti is colourful. Doing this, being colourful and righteous from the neck to the belt, meant that your statement of the day could adorn yourself rather than a building, would lead to an extremely low-risk of arrest, and could go with you around the corner.
Remember- it’s not the boring wall, it’s the shitty neighbours. Be a good neighbour by wearing an always-original ‘None Of A Kind’ and we’ve all won.
I really, really wish I’d actually done this. No one’s fault but mine that I didn’t. But I will also say: ‘Fuck the nineties’. That’s better.
If you can guess the moral of my writing today then I recommend that you take up the advice yourself. The moral is: start a revolutionary T-shirt company to initiate the global phenomenon of ‘None Of A Kind’.
You will make no money.
You will get no credit.
But you might just get a cool T-shirt out of it.