Pick and Mix?
In sneakerdom, there’s the unspoken rule of never mixing brands. So, no Nike Air Huaraches with Adidas tracksuit, or no Reebok t-shirt with Puma Clydes. But should this really matter? This is a passionate point of conversation amongst peers in the scene to the point that there’s an unanimous agreement with the unspoken rule; except for the few that think otherwise. It’s interesting to hear the train of thought of the minority who don’t understand this cardinal sin. They offer reasons such as not having or owning matching outfits or having dirty clothes in the laundry. Are those justifiable excuses for carrying the offending act? Or rather is it an offending act?
In our everyday lives, we sub-consciously mix brands. I have yet to meet someone who from top to bottom only wears one brand every day and I doubt you, as readers know someone who carries out this out act with such regimented precision. Our work vocation or life episodes will also dictate what we can and can’t wear.
Brand loyalty doesn’t have to be exclusive. You can be loyal to a brand for particular clothing item i.e. only wearing Nike trainers or socks by Stance. This can be derived from the positive reinforcement of comfort and or style choices. The closest we get to absolute brand loyalty is from sporting professionals. But is that brand loyalty driven by love for the brand, or rather the cold cash that is generated or given as a result of wearing that brand? So brand loyalty in this case is enforced contractually rather than freewill. We as individuals are not subjected to such restrictions and have the freedom to exercise choice.
A common theme to addressing a multi-brand approach is “brand synergy”. Brand Synergy is when different brands complement each other. With this notion, it is easier to apply brand mixing. So, while mixing Nike with Adidas is a no-no, mixing Nike with another brand such as Supreme or Levis can work as long as other factors such as colour, style and fit is taken into consideration. Achieving a look by mixing it up, creating an ensemble can demonstrates class and style. However, brand mixing doesn’t always guarantee success. With the best intentions, you can also risk looking like a fashion car crash where no thought or consideration was applied to creating the ensemble.
To be honest, this unspoken rule of never mixing brands is nonsense. It is an unattainable law, which we have been subjected to but in the end we cannot fully adhere to it. There are no hard and fast rules for brand mixing, but some would suggest that common sense should be applied when using this approach.