Our “Hipster” at Treasury

Geithner HipsterOver the weekend, the Economist profiled President-Elect Obama’s nominee for Treasury Secretary, Tim Geithner. You might assume we liked the article because of this passage: "The current treasury secretary, Hank Paulson, is reworking the $700 billion bail-out plan on the fly" (emphasis ours), but that statement, for reasons that should be obvious, doesn’t make us optimistic. Actually, this was the section that caught my eye:

Mr Geithner looks a lot younger than his 47 years (though not as young
as he did before the crisis began). He skateboards and snowboards and
exudes a sort of hipster-wonkiness, using ?way? as a synonym for ?very?
as in ?way consequential? and occasionally underlining his point with
the word ?fuck?. In temperament he seems similar to Mr Obama: he is
suspicious of ideology, questions received wisdom, likes a competition
of ideas and is keenly aware of how uncertain the world is.

In our Shop by Lifestyle section, we’ve had a "Hipster" lifestyle. Some have construed this to mean that we think we have stuff that would appeal to the anti-establishment, trucker hat-wearing, Pabst Blue Ribbon-drinking, vinyl record-collecting, dripping-with-irony "hipsters". That was never our intended audience.

In our worldview, "Hipster" refers to a psychographic profile for a gentleman that appreciates the finer things in life, but eschews many of the traditional rules of fashion or etiquette in order to create a style all his own. Our hipster might be a 40 year old guy who chooses to wear Agave jeans, Michael Toschi SUV2s, an Ike Behar casual shirt, and a vintage watch (for irony). This is a stark contrast to the Old School gentleman that wears a conservative suit, shirt & tie to work, or the Professor who wears a V-neck sweater over a sport shirt with cords and loafers.

From publicly available photos, Geithner’s wardrobe is what I would consider an Old School/Wall Street fusion, but we bet he’s in jeans & a t-shirt on weekends. If the Economist can refer to a Secretary of the U.S. Treasury as a "hipster", we’re in good company.

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6 Comments
  1. NSK