“Star Wars” and Marc Ecko: It’s fashionable enough for you, old man

Island Packet – If you have ever spent any time thinking, “My clothes are OK, but what I’d really like is to go to work looking more like a Jawa,” do I have joyous news for you: Fashion designer Marc Ecko has unveiled a clothing line inspired by “Star Wars,” an announcement that has fans igniting their lightsabers in glee, and one that makes him sci-fi fashion’s Ecko leader.

If you did not realize that there were jokes located in that paragraph, you may as well stop reading and go do whatever it is you non-“Star Wars” people do, such as smooch girls, throw footballs to each other or not post a shot-by-shot analyses of the “Iron Man” trailer. Myself, having been born with a tragic genetic malady that makes it impossible for me to throw a basketball within 10 feet of a hoop — and I mean any hoop, mind you, not just the one in the game in which I’m playing — I spent my childhood collecting and imagining myself as any number of “Star Wars” figures, particularly Boba Fett, for the extremely awesome reason that Boba Fett had a jet pack, which I surmised would be a highly convenient thing to have at recess. Seriously, who’s gonna jack your lunch money if you’re sporting a jet pack? They should be handed out to all students in a federally funded program. No Child Left Grounded.

Anyway, the “Star Wars” thing continued for decades, right up until the moment Lucas befouled everything with the god-awful prequels about the talking Rasta space frog and the second-grader who gets hit on by Natalie Portman. Besides, when I became far too cool for “Star Wars” toys, I ended up selling all my stuff in a series of unfortunate garage sales; needless to say, the proceeds from said toys today could net me a Navigator full of iPhones, so if you ever come across an AT-AT with the words “Jeff is cool” scrawled in black magic marker on the bottom, you let me know.

Anyway, here’s Ecko: “What’s not to love about ‘Star Wars?’ ” he told The Media. “This collection is about adding our unique twist to create something that can only be described as ‘geek chic.’” Geek chic! That is an insult, sir! These people are nerds! Ecko’s designs are described with a refreshing lack of irony as “hip” and “modern,” or whatever the maximum level of hip is if you’re dressing at least a little like a Wookiee. The designs include print T-shirts decorated with colored beads, studs and embroidery, which is good news for anyone who can’t decide which they like better, “Star Wars” or “Rhinestone Cowboy.”

I am, of course, kidding about all of this. There are few things more reliably lucrative than nostalgia, especially among underdeveloped thirtysomethings who spent their formative years obsessing over something and now have a little bit of disposable income they can use to ensure that they (and their offspring) experience the emotionally stunting magic of it. This explains why you see 8-year-olds at Van Halen concerts, why the toy aisles are littered with Cabbage Patch Kids and My Little Ponys and why Hollywood occasionally makes movies based on old cartoons.

Besides, I can joke with nerds because 1. It’s not like I looked any of these references up and 2. Blithely mocking something is a really good way to passively mask your hope that someone will buy you a “Fett For Real” hoodie for your birthday. Which is in September. I’m just saying.


About Jeff Vrabel

My writing has appeared in GQ, Men’s Health, Success, the Washington Post, the official BruceSpringsteen.net, Indianapolis Monthly, Billboard, Modern Bride and more. View all posts by Jeff Vrabel

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