From Puma to Soviet, Nike to Adidas, there is, and always has been, a lot of pressure to wear the coolest brands that promise on fleek style no matter where you go.
These days, if you aren’t rocking the hottest new Soviet kicks, you are likely to feel as though not even the fiercest ‘tude can give you the confidence boost that you need to survive an evening enveloped in a crowd of your peers. All of whom seem to be better dressed than you – at least in your opinion, anyway!
The big international brands work incredibly hard to establish themselves as a must-have and a household name. They do this with extremely clever and strategic marketing campaigns which do little to tell the public more about the brand itself (its quality, price etc.), but that seek to convince people how good they will feel, and how other people’s opinions of them will change, if they buy the product.
Powerful campaigns, usually linked to a ‘hot’ celeb, get people to associate the brand with a particular emotion or a status. From here, the brand becomes trendy and everyone who wears it “believes” that they will automatically become cool. It is this brand awareness that leads to brand pressure. It can also lead to a bruised ego:
- When most of us realise that there’s no way we could afford the item unless we resigned ourselves to eating beans out of a can for the rest of our time spent at varsity!
- When we have to accept that, even having eaten beans for 6 months to buy those jeans we so coveted, they actually do zip for our pulling power or ego!
That being said, we can’t lie. It’s pretty awesome to own a few brand name threads. They might make you feel stylish, or earn you a few high-fives from your mates, and they might even make it easier to pull a beautiful chick/oke or two at that house party. However, if you, like most of the local South African youth, are feeling this immense, stressful brand pressure that seems to get worse and worse, STOP.
You can still look awesome – even on a budget! Who cares what brand name you’re sporting if you’re able to pull off the outfit you’re wearing like a boss? At the end of the day, it’s not the brand that makes you, you… it’s your inner swag that makes the real difference!