Why is everyone wearing NASA clothes?

Once you start noticing them, it’s hard to stop.

There were several trend parts about the phenomenon of recent years. And NASA multimedia spokesman Bert Ulrich, who oversees the use of NASA logos in film, television and clothing, confirms that demand for NASA branded clothing is far from waning, at least in terms of the number of logo deals he has approved. He’s been in his role for over two decades, so he’s seen the ebb and flow of trends. (basically thread)
Some of the latest sales booms can be traced back to a surprising place: American luxury fashion house Coach, which debuted with the line NASA-branded clothing in 2017Ulrich told CNN Business.

Coach initially approached NASA to ask if it could use the “worm” logo, a retro design that the space agency used from 1975 to 1992. NASA, which banned the use of the worm after it was decommissioned in the 90s, has changed its mind. about this by allowing Coach to use the logo, Ulrich said..

And “worm” ever since returned to official use and secured its wide distribution adorationat least among die-hard space fans.
Chris Evans wears a hat featuring the NASA worm logo at the MTV Movie and TV Awards on Sunday, June 5, 2022 at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, California.

After the release of the Coach clothing line, everything exploded.

“Until 2017, we made five or ten [logo approvals] a week. Now it’s gotten to the point where we travel an average of 225 times a week,” Ulrich said.

There were “more than 11,000 requests” last year, he said, a record high.

Ulrich added that not all of these requests are approved. But the reason why there is so much interest in putting NASA logos on everything from Vans sneakers trucker hats may have something to do with the fact that these companies don’t need to license the logo. It’s all free and NASA doesn’t make a dime from it.
This is not how licensing deals usually work, but because NASA is a government agency, most of its assets, including photographs, logos, and even technological projects – are in the public domain. If a company wants to print NASA logos on T-shirts or coffee mugs, all they need to do is send an email to NASA’s merchandising department. in accordance with legal requirements. It usually ends up in Ulrich’s mailbox.
Ulrich’s job is to make sure the logo is used as approved by the space agency. aesthetic recommendations. For example, unapproved colors cannot be used. And, of course, NASA wants to make sure that no one needs its brand. in the direction purposes, such as in a way that suggests NASA is supporting the company or product. If a company is abusing the logo, NASA’s legal department often sends a cease and desist letter, Ulrich said.
After Coach launched its NASA clothing line, high-profile designers including Heron Preston and, more recently, Balenciaga have released their own lines. Pop singer Ariana Grande had song and a whole line of merchandising about NASA. Over the last decade there have also been Adidas, Swatch, Vans and many others.
From this point of view, it is possible to explain the phenomenon with the help of what we will call the “Miranda Priestley effect”. remember, that scene in the 2006 film The Devil Wears Prada, in which Priestley, Meryl Streep’s character, verbally dresses her young, unfashionable intern? She explains that the blue sweater she’s wearing is actually “azure” and is the product of fashion-obsessed industrial moguls as much as anything else on the runway. Essentially, Priestley argued, designers and the fashion media curate trends, and these decisions influence even the least fashion-conscious consumers.
A guest wears a NASA bomber jacket during Matthew Miller's London Fashion Week Men's Show on January 7, 2017 in London, England.
But that’s only half the story, according to Jan. Hall, creative director of a Brooklyn design agency. Consortiumwho works on design and style for various brands.

Before Coach, kids bought NASA T-shirts from vintage stores because they liked the feeling of nostalgia, a longing for classic American, Hall said.

“You start with kids in cities like New York buying things like old Disney products or old NASA t-shirts, and then all of a sudden some “cool hunter” in the fashion industry, like Urban Outfitters, sees this and all of a sudden says, “We need to turn over some NASA T-shirts,” Hall said. “It’s kind of reverse engineering trends.”

It probably wasn’t until the “cool kids” started wearing NASA T-shirts on the streets that the designer brands picked them up and sold them back.

Hall, a Brooklyn-based creative director, said he thinks wearing the NASA logo has a lot more to do with branding what the logo is than a declaration of love for space.

He embodies “the typical American optimism that we can do anything,” he said.

He added that he has no political affiliation and can be marketed to young liberals and rural conservatives alike, evoking the same nostalgia.

“People who work with brands like Heron Preston and Balenciaga are just as enamored with space travel fantasies as anyone else. No one is immune to this level of nostalgia, so it only makes sense that these brands would want to incorporate this into their own collections.” he said.

He notes that this has happened with other logos and franchises, such as Balenciaga working on projects with The Simpsons or Coach with Mickey Mouse.

“These enduring symbols speak to everyone, regardless of socioeconomic status. Not everyone can be associated with Heron Preston or Target, but everyone gets modern Americana from brands like NASA, Disney, Peanuts and The Simpsons,” he said. “Things like NASA act like this magic equalizer.”