The originator of mega-mega social media platform Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg is a firm believer in the virtues of a personal uniform. Others may enjoy a little more variety in their work-week wardrobe but for Mark Zuckerberg it’s one color and one color alone thank you: Charcoal grey. That’s charcoal t-shirts, charcoal hoodies and charcoal long-sleeve tees and sweaters which dominate the Zuckerberg personal uniform aesthetic. What has come to be known as the Zuckerberg charcoal uniform is the stuff of Silicon Valley legend and one of the essential reference points in the amazing and constantly evolving history of geek-chic.
The uniform of the nerd was once a point of derision and contempt, the flag of the outsider and the unwelcome. Geek-chic was never something one would willingly adopt. This shabby and prejudiced stereotype of the nerd included trademark suspenders, tie (bow), button down collars, ”Birth control glasses” (BCG’s) and plaid trousers and is, thankfully, very much a thing of the past. Nerds run multi-million dollar corporations these days, they are the new rulers of the world and, more to the point, they are sexy trend-setters in their own right and a nerd is something to aspire to be. The beauty of geek-chic is that it seems to have evolved organically, out of practicality, necessity and the devil-may-care sensibilities of being a nerd (for want of a better term) and having more important things to do than waste time on wardrobe selections. It is hard to imagine Steve Jobs presenting at an Apple event without his trademark black polo neck, in the same way that it’s hard to imagine Bill Nye without his trademark bow tie, or Marilyn Monroe without her”_ blonde hair.
For a new generation of geek-kings the practicality of a uniform still rings true. It removes the wasted effort of an already-difficult, time-consuming and potentially frustrating series of choices in the morning. For the true geek, once this choice has been made, it need not be repeated Every. Single. Day. While Steve Job’s obsession with elegant, modernist design eventually led him to the basic black polo neck, Zuckerberg’s approach is pure utilitarian, much like Facebook, “I’m in this really lucky position, where I get to wake up every day and help serve more than a billion people”_ and I feel like I’m not doing my job if I spend any of my energy on things that are silly or frivolous,” which makes a very pragmatic kind of sense. Although the trademark Zuckerberg charcoal uniform is not the first famous personal uniform it is definitely emblematic of geek-culture and how geek-chic is starting to make real inroads into mainstream fashion. The t-shirt, after all is a truly utilitarian item, owned and used from the lowest through to the highest classes in every society. In many ways the T-shirt is the great equalizer, the common denominator across cultures and castes.
Spectratees shares a similar utilitarian approach to design aesthetics and personal uniforms. It was with this recognition in mind that we’ve recently curated a collection of our finest styles and designs into a select package of seven charcoal delights, to help our customers take the guess-work out of their own, personal uniform requirements. This collection includes our trademark best-selling T-shirts, a hoodie, a tank-top, a contrasting black and charcoal Raglan and even a long-sleeve tee for those chilly spring evenings. What did we call it? The Zuckerberg Collection of course, in honor of the legendary Zuckerberg charcoal uniform. It seemed appropriate to offer a little nod the gods of social media and to pay homage to one of Silicon Valley’s geek-kings who is changing the world much like we are, one t-shirt at a time.