Esquire Magazine has named Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg among this year’s worst-dressed celebrities, placing him squarely among such tabloid royalty as Russell Brand and Robert Pattinson. For those of you not familiar with Zuckerberg’s style, Mashable put together a gallery retrospective of the young CEO’s unwavering getup: T-shirt, jeans, The North Face sweatshirt, Adidas sandals. (This also happens to describe about 89 percent of engineering students across the nation.)
But according to the style police:
No matter how much money you have or how many people’s secrets you hold in your digital palm, you cannot show up to a black-tie event in a T-shirt and jeans and expect to be taken seriously. Seriously.
You just gave a hundred million to Newark’s schools. Would it kill you to throw a couple thousand to, say, Zegna for a couple of nice suits? Even Bill Gates wears a sports coat, for chrissakes.
But isn’t that sort of the point? When you’re worth 7 billion dollars, shouldn’t you be able to dress however the hell you like? As stated above: the man had just given a hundred million to Newark schools, so let him wear a T-shirt. (Although maybe calling him a “style icon”—as The Daily Beast did—was a bit overkill.)
What this does call into question is our expectations for those in the limelight. The fact that he’s allied with the devil notwithstanding, what does Zuckerberg’s lack of a sports jacket actually mean? That he’s not to be “taken seriously”? No matter how many North Face jackets he wears, I’m pretty sure nobody could seriously argue against how much weight the Facebook mogul pulls.
Which means instead that we expect the famous to look a certain way. I’m not talking about movie stars, rock stars, or fashion icons—let’s face it, those folks knew what they were getting into—I’m talking about the guys who were thrown into the spotlight by way of their talent in an inherently unfashionable field.
There’s always something to be said for guys taking pride in how they present themselves. But as far as I’m concerned, Zucky’s presentation indicates a guy whose priorities lie elsewhere. Or someone who was most comfortable with himself in college, and dresses accordingly.
Either way, it’s fine by me.