TOO COOL FOR SCHOOL?

[Source: "The Coolhunt" by Malcolm Gladwell, The New Yorker, 3/17/97]

 

"The L Report can tell you, for example, that ... 19- to 24-year-old female trendsetters in San Francisco have turned their backs on Calvin Klein, Nintendo Gameboy, and sex."

 
 

"In Austin-Dallas, meanwhile, 25- to 30-year-old women trendsetters are into hats, heroin, computers, cigars, Adidas, and velvet...."

 
 

Coolhunter DeeDee Gordon: "If I see Joe Regular Guy sitting in a coffee shop and everyone around him has blue hair, I'm going to gravitate toward him, because, hey, what's Joe Regular Guy doing in a coffee shop with people with blue hair?"

 
 

"DeeDee hired Piney because Piney clearly knows: She is 24 and used to work with the Beastie Boys and has the formidable self-possession of someone who is not only cool herself but whose parents were cool. 'I mean,' she says, 'they named me after a tree.'"

 
 

"Piney and DeeDee said that they once tried to hire someone as a coolhunter who was not, himself, cool, and it was a disaster.... Their noncool coolhunter just didn't have that certain instinct, that sense that told him when it was OK to deviate from the manual."

 
 

"It is not possible to be cool, in other words, unless you are - in some larger sense - already cool, and so the phenomenon that the uncool cannot see and cannot have described to them is also something that they cannot ever attain, because if they did it would no longer be cool."

 
 

 

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