The Post-Postmodernism Issue

Cool Fascismo

Nazi chic sweeps Berlin.

Nazi chic is sweeping Berlin’s streets. Skinheads are so last season; Che Guevara is the new face of Nazism. Today’s radical rights are ditching drab Doc Martins for colorful keffiyeh scarves and New Balance sneakers, making modern fascists the most fashion-savvy to date.

Corporate logos have become sites of semantic warfare, subtly scripted with anti-Semitic messages. Helly Hansen’s “HH” is now code for “Heil Hitler,” and Lonsdale a nod to Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei or NSDAP. This co-opting of mainstream clothing allows racists to allude to their political affiliations in public without risking arrest or fine. Berlin police officers have even been banned from wearing ten popular upscale brands – including Ben Sherman, Fred Perry, Lonsdale, ACAB and PitBull – to avoid looking “too Nazi” on duty.

For those more forthcoming about their political leanings, the clothing of choice is Thor Steinar: a brand made “for the scene by the scene.” After having their original logo banned in 2004 for appearing too similar to uniforms worn by the SS, Thor Steinar has started to use codes on its clothing to show Nazi affiliation. Numbers such as 18 (for Adolph Hitler’s initials) are popular as references, as are eagles and Norwegian flags to symbolize “Nordic origin.”

Germany’s domestic intelligence agency estimates there are 40,000 Germans currently identifying as “extreme rightists” and the numbers are growing. Despite – or perhaps because of – its grave historical associations, contemporary cool coded clothing is being snapped up by German teens quicker than you can say Sieg Heil!

Chris Urquhart

54 comments on the article “Cool Fascismo”

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Anonymous

I could not get past your fist paragraph before I knew it would be a waste of my time. You are writing bullshit. You state "making modern fascists the most fashion-savvy to date." Seriously? I mean has there ever been more fashionable fascist than the original fascist in Germany? Truly you are aware that the SS uniforms where designed by Hugo Boss right? I mean those uniform are intimidatingly powerful stuff; leather.

Anonymous

I could not get past your fist paragraph before I knew it would be a waste of my time. You are writing bullshit. You state "making modern fascists the most fashion-savvy to date." Seriously? I mean has there ever been more fashionable fascist than the original fascist in Germany? Truly you are aware that the SS uniforms where designed by Hugo Boss right? I mean those uniform are intimidatingly powerful stuff; leather.

Bezdomny

I heard about an even stranger fashion movement called piecejeans. They take to clothes off war victims and sew them into new articles of clothing.

check out piecejeans.org

Bezdomny

I heard about an even stranger fashion movement called piecejeans. They take to clothes off war victims and sew them into new articles of clothing.

check out piecejeans.org

Anonymous

corporate branding and fascist branding seem to go hand in hand. Wonder what brand name they have in mind for the striped pajamas and wooden clogs that all the "unfashionable" lowlifes will be wearing in the future "vacation" camps. And I agree, the original SS uniforms were quite well designed and very intimidating, all black, body hugging and with lots of leather.And by Hugo Boss? Wow, who would want to wear that baggy crap by Fred Perry or Ben Sherman? That 30's Boss stuff made the real statement,I say stick with that. I'm thinking about a few of those J.Crew models, those tall strawberry blond leggy ones with lots of freckles in a pair of black riding boots and a leather flight jacket brandishing riding crops.....bet that stuff sells out fast.

Anonymous

corporate branding and fascist branding seem to go hand in hand. Wonder what brand name they have in mind for the striped pajamas and wooden clogs that all the "unfashionable" lowlifes will be wearing in the future "vacation" camps. And I agree, the original SS uniforms were quite well designed and very intimidating, all black, body hugging and with lots of leather.And by Hugo Boss? Wow, who would want to wear that baggy crap by Fred Perry or Ben Sherman? That 30's Boss stuff made the real statement,I say stick with that. I'm thinking about a few of those J.Crew models, those tall strawberry blond leggy ones with lots of freckles in a pair of black riding boots and a leather flight jacket brandishing riding crops.....bet that stuff sells out fast.

Anonymous

wait til you see my caricature of black-chadri-clad woman with jackboots sticking out from underneath

Anonymous

wait til you see my caricature of black-chadri-clad woman with jackboots sticking out from underneath

gcford

Is it strange that despite the message being hate, I would rather someone wear a brand name because they feel a political association than because it's "cool"?

gcford

Is it strange that despite the message being hate, I would rather someone wear a brand name because they feel a political association than because it's "cool"?

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