World 99

In World 99, ‘coolness’ remains a personal quality, as opposed to possession of a corporate commodity.

In 1980s New York, libraries loaned out cameras and audio recording technologies and public tv sponsored young cool people to share what they saw on their streets. This brought the blood-sucking activities of 1990s ‘coolhunters’ to the attention of the whole community. Rotting fruit was thrown at them as they cruised into the neighbourhoods, staining their threads and vilifying them as the thieves they were.

Corporate brands could be fined for using such tactics, along with guerrilla/stealth marketing. Small local notions of cool dress flourish.

What if …

young people on streets of NY had been empowered to share the reality of their worlds to the wider community?

Issue targeted:

the equation of ‘coolness’ with the acquisition of corporate branded goods, which results in loss of commitment to the local, irresponsible production and exploitation of youth creativity


denigration of the 1990s ‘coolhunter’

This World was contributed by Vanessa Brown (located in Nottingham, UK) using a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International licence which allows others to share and adapt the work in any medium and for any purpose, providing that they credit the author and share their material using the same Creative Commons licence.

Does this World remind you of something?

I am keen to hear about any historical or contemporary real-world examples – whether individual practices, subcultures or mainstream activities – that this fiction brings to mind.

Please share any such examples using this form. Thank you!

Published by Amy Twigger Holroyd

explorer of Fashion Fictions