If you didn’t get enough from the WHO? page, the good news is that I like writing. Bad news is that I shouldn’t quit my day job for it. That is why, I assume, I am a designer and not a writer. Besides, if you’ve fallen deep enough into this rabbit hole I don’t expect you to hand this essay back to me graded. With that in mind I will preface this by saying that by no means is the writing below final or wholly applicable, and you’ll see why in the first paragraph.
So what the hell is DORON?
DORON as a brand is an embodiment and reflection of my personal philosophies and political dogma. As ever-changing as that is, the same would apply to the brand itself. As an artist, designer, and self proclaimed t-shirt connoisseur, my passion lies in expressing these ideologies through fashion (whether you like it or not). Through my eyes, a t-shirt is a canvas. Just as fine arts are often used as a tool to spread a message or feeling, so is the t-shirt. If you strip it down to it’s utilitarian value, the concept is simple: it is just a piece of cloth used to protect our terribly designed human bodies from the volatility of the world around us. It is a thin barrier between us and our natural environment. Or at least it was in the paleolithic ages, whatever. The newfound purpose of clothing, however, lies in self-expression: a subversive message, the creation of an identity. The potential of the t-shirt as a method of expression is certain. As I see it, fashion, in and of itself, is a conveyor of a message that will stretch through time farther than any one of us can live to see. Just as any other creation of art stands, it is a tool and method of disseminating an ideology, a message, a statement, an image, and so on.
Now that I’ve got that out of the way, it is important that I mention why I write this in the first place. Too often in this era of fashion, it is easy for start-up clothing brands to step away from fashion’s roots of political and personal value, and instead be used as a quick cash-grab. Because I understand the motives behind this, I am obligated to say there is nothing intrinsically wrong with that intention. Rather, the point is that the external factors that may motivate one to use a clothing brand (or any business) for those means is the issue at hand. The dilapidated and abrasive structure of capitalism and the ramifications it has had on the average American citizen (along with the capitalist propaganda machine that is our current education system) is to blame. Yeah, that was a mouthful, but stick with me. It’s ironic really that I am saying this and lashing out against such a system, because fashion is likely one of the most hyper capitalist industries and it’d be no surprise to find fashion and capitalism in the bedroom together. If you want to read more into this, here’s a great article on it. It is difficult for brands to break away from capitalist practices when we’re living under capitalism. It’s like the conservative proverb: “Communism is when no I-phone”. Or for those who actually go outside, what I’m saying is that living under and within the capitalist mode of production, it is nearly impossible to not fall into the practices that define it. As they put it though, there’s a palpable desire to try. And DORON, indeed, is trying. Being that the fashion industry is ridden with the worst of capitalism, the push is to shift focus more towards the goal of self-expression and supporting small, ethical business handled by individuals not as shitty as big corporations. To quote the article again, “Those individuals who have enjoyed power under the old structures and hierarchies will fight this evolution, of course, but the secret is, it’s consumers who have the real power in fashion. We always have.”
When are you going to get to the point?
Soon. I promise. What I am getting at is that for anyone, especially myself, to involve themselves in such an industry, the number one priority to be held is maintaining the integrity of the political and expressionistic facet of fashion rather than the profit motive. This idea is at the heart of DORON. In fact, the brand is an active critique of the profit motive (though you’ve probably figured that out by now). Of course I still need to make profit so I can keep this brand going, and also so that I don’t sit in my dorm room eating ramen noodles every night. This goes back to the idea of still having to participate in capitalism despite critiquing it. And I will admit that the system we live in has its merits, as does every other form of economic organization. However, in today’s world, it has become increasingly apparent that the form of crony and corporate capitalism we live under is unsustainable and completely undermines the interest of the people. It is very easy to be fooled by those at the top of the pyramid, but capitalism is ultimately a form of a feudalism where the monarch has been replaced by ownership of the means of production, and the serfs are the modern working class. This instills a faux sense of democracy and class mobility. You might have heard from a tool on the internet that if you worked two full-time jobs for years and then invested the money and stepped on other people in the process you can escape poverty! It’s just about the hustle, the grind, the sweat equity. The problem, though, is that with the resources we have and the year we are living in, this should not be a reality for the majority of Americans. It’s an unrealistic one anyway. You should expect the richest country in the world to be able to take care of their citizens. And since this is not the case, revolution must take place. Don't get me wrong, this is not to say that democratic processes and class mobility is impossible within late capitalism, but the promise it holds to the working class (and frankly to most of the population) is quite the illusion. When you experience this illusion for long enough, you should hopefully come to the same conclusion any revolutionary has come to: this can't be the best we got, right?
For thousands of years, humanity has progressed, built upon each other, worked together to create some beautiful things. Humans built the pyramids, we discovered the scientific methods that allow us to advance our civilizations, we have built large-scale societies that transcend all things we previously thought to be unattainable. With this in mind, it's nearly impossible to conclude that the current worldwide structure of political and economic organization is the best we can come up with. Especially in a world that some consider to be post-scarcity. In a country where the number of empty homes exceeds the homeless population, the ONLY logical conclusion is that this isn’t the best we’ve got.
I envision a world where the masses of humanity realize this and work hand-in-hand to further ourselves as a civilization. That is what DORON embodies: a synergy of human innovation and collective mental transcendence where, paired with our innate sense for communality, eventually create a utopia for all those living. This idea is not new. In fact, it's been of interest since the 18th century and probably even far before that.
How do you suppose we do this?
By the same mechanism we have used to do this in the past: technology. By what facet of technology is up for debate, but I am proposing the use of artificial intelligence. Not much is needed to expand on this, because I would then be being redundant with what was expressed on the WHO? page. As you could probably tell, I am no political godsend. It may seem that this proposal is a little absurd, and it is. But let a man dream will ya?
What ever happened to t-shirts?
Right. Let's get back on track. Though you probably deduced this already, t-shirts are the vehicle through which the ideology of DORON will travel most steadily. I'm no loudmouth (most of the time), I still get told to speak up every now and again. But there is absolutely nothing you can do to stop me from wearing my F*ck Derek Chauvin t-shirt everywhere I go. And I love doing it. It's a message I am proud to flaunt and I use that t-shirt as a way to express my leanings. I'm sure you have a t-shirt you do this with as well, and if not, that's an easy fix. DORON holds this same plan of action in mind. Every t-shirt that I spend late nights designing for this brand holds a unique piece to a message I am proud to express, and I hope the same is true on your end. After all, that is why you're here.