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Tech bosses' new silicon valley - plaid shirts are out of fashion
- Jan 04, 2019 -

T-shirts, hoodies and jeans seem to have become standard fashion items for programmers under the ridicule of social media.


This is not without reason.


There are good reasons why programmers prefer these styles. In addition to being wearable for everyday work, familiarity and casual comfort don't distract them from the task at hand in this loose silhouette. Other programmers see it as an extension of their youth, after all, and the closest thing to their schooldays.


"T-shirts, hoodies, jeans..."You still see them being worn by programmers and engineers," says one technology contractor who works in silicon valley. "they are proud of where they work, so there are a lot of company logos on their clothes."


It seems like a tough style to shake, and while tech companies have been battling it out in the business world, for a long time their employees didn't mind wearing the same generic T-shirt as everyone else. But as the tech industry has embraced fashion in recent years, this traditional "silicon valley chic" has evolved into a new version of the designer versus luxury shirt and suit.


This evolution is top-down, as exemplified by the "executive suite" of technology companies. Facebook founder and CEO mark zuckerberg typically wears a T-shirt and jeans to F8 and Oculus developer conferences, while Google's Sundar Pichai often wears a tracksuit and sneakers for fireside meetings and keynote speeches.


While it may still look like the traditional "silicon valley style," these are carefully curated fashion ACTS.Mr. Zuckerberg's T-shirt, for example, was actually from Brunello Cucinelli, an Italian luxury label, while Mr. Pichai wore Lanvin sneakers.Others credit the fashion upgrade to apple founder Steve Jobs, who turned black turtlenecks and Levi's into iconic uniforms designed by Japanese designer issey miyake.


As more young men join the ranks of silicon valley, the number of programmers interested in designer brands and luxury or co-branded designs is growing.


According to PayScale, the average age of apple employees in 2018 will be 31, Google will be 30 and Facebook and LinkedIn will be 29, which is now one of the main forces of luxury spending.In China, as early as 2017, men's consumption of luxury goods was slightly higher than that of women at 51%, and the large number of male employees in high-tech companies fit this trend.


"Silicon valley elites need a fresher product," said Brunello Cucinelli, chief executive of Brunello Cucinelli. "they need advice.


While it's tempting to portray tech companies and their employees in terms of entertainment stunts, there are plenty of examples these days that are pushing back on that stereotype. Twitter representative Jack Dorsey, for example, has previously expressed his preference for Dior Homme dress shirts. Former yahoo chief executive Marissa Mayer prefers designer Alexander McQueen.


Victoria Hitchcock, the designer of fashion and lifestyle consulting firm Victoria Hitchcock Style, has provided fashion information service for technical employees of apple, Facebook, Google and other companies for nearly 20 years. He found that this new Style of clothing is particularly important for people in silicon valley who often meet with external customers, travel outside silicon valley or have administrative goals.


"This is more of a visualisation for what it means," Hitchcock said. "it means I'm going to several different speaking events and I'm meeting great people and I'm going to be photographed and put on social media. For others, the idea is to make tech outfits look a little more sophisticated.


Hitchcock is also trying to make her clients as far away from the Vans and Allbirds and other popular fashion brands as possible. In her opinion, these young consumers who grew up in silicon valley have high salaries and can fully afford the cost of designers.


Brands are another driver of this change.


In May 2018, hermes opened its 34th store in the U.S. market at the Stanford shopping center in silicon valley, and two other French luxury brands, Louis Vuitton and Cartier, also opened new stores nearby.


In addition, the French luxury goods trade association Comite Colbert in silicon valley, 2017 to 50 companies in silicon valley founders and venture capitalists issued in December 2018 at the invitation of the Paris, and showed them around the luxury goods industry workshop, to show the French perfumes, leather goods, wines and professional knowledge in the field of car and so on, also invite them to participate in the seminar held by the multiple brands combined.


Such efforts may be more popular than ever, as well-paid tech workers face a fashion awakening.

"Now more people are saying, 'I want to stand out' or 'I don't want to look like everyone else,'" Hitchcock said.


It also helps tech companies develop corporate policies that encourage self-expression.

Today's Facebook has a basic rule on employees' dress codes: be yourself. Janelle Gale, the company's vice-president of human resources, says he wants employees to be who they are, and while this can lead to some looking rather scruffy, others make up for it.


To further implement this rule, some Facebook employees even set up a social club, Fashion @, where people can share tips, favorite Fashion outfits and brands based on their common interests.

"When you come to Facebook, you're not going to be a unified 'version' of something," Gale said. "from the way you communicate to the way you dress, it wants you to be based on what you really think."


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