Interview with Fashion Wankers: Fashion Meme Deep Dive Part 4
With the help of fashion meme titans like Vetememes, Meme Saint Laurent and Fashion Wankers, the ARCHIVE.pdf Team have interviewed all individuals to truly understand just how deep this fashion meme rabbit hole goes. From educating the masses on fashion, to their impact on the fashion industry, the toxicity and beauty of the community, and much more, today we’ll be revealing one of fashion’s greatest online mysteries: Fashion Memes.
One of the fashion meme pages that has been around for a long while is Ollie, aka Fashion Wankers. His page had small beginnings, sending and creating memes for his friends that later inspired him to start posting them on social media. Ollie is an extremely humble guy with an unmatched sense of humor. More recently he has expanded his kinds of posts to project more of himself and his personal style and interests. After talking with him about his ideas and goals for his page, it's clear to see Fashion Wankers has transcended beyond just an Instagram meme page and if there was a Mount Rushmore for fashion meme pages, Ollie’s face would be on it.
How did the Fashion Wankers page start off, what were the beginnings like for you?
I thought that absolutely fucking nothing would come of it. I was doing it purely for the fuck of it. My friends were in a group chat with me, I'd make little memes, send them in and then a couple people would reply to my personal stories. This was two years ago. It's like, oh, make a page, post them. I posted maybe four or five memes in a day, tagged Dick Owens and Meme Saint Laurent, woke up the next day and I had like 500 followers. And keep in mind, my personal at this point only had I think 2000 followers. I always have to thank Karsten (Meme Saint Laurent) and Tommy (Dick Owens) for helping me, I don't know how else I would've gotten out there, especially because it's such a niche thing and it's so easy to be cringe or whatever the opposite of red pilled is. I guess that's blue pilled. Yeah, that's my knowledge of the movie, The Matrix.
It was a very, very flippant thing, but I don’t regret starting it at all. It's brought me so many brilliant opportunities in the fashion community and the industry that I only wished I could be a part of. And now I have somewhat of a voice in the community, I’m hesitant to say my opinion matters, to some people it does which is very nice. That's just how it started: It was just me being me, and then people encouraging me to post that on a platform.
Were Meme Saint Laurent and other fashion meme accounts your first introduction to the concept of fashion memes?
Yeah. There was when I was younger, maybe 15 to 17. Very, very depressed. I don't mean this in any cringe way at all, but memes probably saved my life to some extent, because it was just fun. It was just a community of people. Obviously there are some dickheads in there, but I mean it was just people having fun, laughing at things. There were inside jokes, it made you feel welcome. I've always had an affinity for it and then obviously seeing people like Karsten and Tommy integrate. I thought, well, I have opinions, and obviously everyone has their own perspective on things, so why not just join in. At this point, there were three or four pages that were notable and inspired me so I always have to thank them for it because where would we be without them?
Do you have a particular favorite meme that either you or someone else has made?
Yeah, probably one of my earlier ones. I don't know. In no way did I coin the Wojack outfit thing. Obviously Reddit was doing that years ago, it set the blueprints for whatever the fuck my page is now. I think that the Wojak format really got me into the big leagues as I was comparing myself to four or five other accounts. I recently started posting those memes again and they're doing brilliant numbers for once... Obviously looking back to the Wojack memes, there's an e-boy one that I did ages ago when e-boys were a thing. That one's probably one of my favorites. It was probably the least problematic one because obviously, at the starting point of the page, you don't really care about reputation or other people's feelings too much. But once you realize that people actually listen to what you say, I've realized that some of the stuff I was saying was not only biased, but it was quite offensive actually. And I realized that, although that's funny, it's also not really worth upsetting people to that extent.
In the past couple of years, we've had a rise in the knock-off air force 1’s, the Jordan 1’s. Also just high quality fakes and replicas in general. What are your thoughts on that?
So reps, they're a weird one, because I know people, people that even you may know, who wear reps, but don’t disclose that publicly. And I don't think that's a good thing. Call it gatekeeping if you will. But personally I put all of my money into authentic clothes because it's just how the designer intended it to be I think, and wearing fake ones and pretending that they’re real is disingenuous, especially if you're giving this impression that you're a fashion person.
My friends know me as the fashion guy and it's like, well, do they also know that all your shit's fake and that you're not actually as invested as you proclaim to be? Because it's one thing to invest yourself in clothing. For example the Rick Owens Kiss Boots, they're very extreme shoes. And it's not only that you're subjecting yourself to paying anywhere upwards of a grand, it's also that you have to have that confidence. You have to step down whatever affects masculinity had on you prior to you buying them and do that. When you're not investing the full amount of money and pretending that you are at this high vantage point in fashion, it just feels, I don't know, disingenuous? You could get fake kiss boots, but does that make you as good as the person who bought the real ones? Probably, because you're not a fucking idiot who bought two pairs.
Where do you see the future of fashion memes heading? Has it gotten too meta and gone full circle of becoming ironic again?
I think that comedy will always follow the same pattern and fashion and comedy have a very similar, sort of a symbiotic relationship. I usually compare the trends of fashion memes and comedy to denim. So you see a pair of jeans, and when I say pair of jeans, you might instantly think of Levi 501's or a pair of flares. You might think of a pair of Dior skinny jeans. That's the subjectiveness of comedy. That's your first instinct towards what you find funny, towards what you find fashionable. But then you think of jeans over time, like boot cuts are in, boot cuts are out, give it a couple of years, months, whatever. And aspects of that will come back. Whether it's the rise of it or the inseam or how tall they are, how low they are, how wide they are, how skinny their ankles are, thighs. All these things change, but they'll always come back.
You'll always come full swing and as long as you're paying attention to it, as much as you would pay attention to fashion trends, trends in memes are just as easy to follow if you're actually listening and you're watching and you're seeing how people react, what's performing well, what's not. I don't know, designing jokes is almost the same as designing clothes in that sense.
What are your plans and goals for the future of Fashion Wankers? What are you trying to accomplish with it, and where would you like to see it go in the future?
I'm trying to be more of a man of the people. I'm trying to use a voice and trying to use the platform to not only to make people laugh and talk about things, but also so that I have somewhere to share my creative endeavors. I'm starting a brand and I'm very excited! Just starting the website now, launches in September. And hopefully that should go very well.
Go even deeper down the rabbit hole of fashion memes:
Fashion Wankers: Instagram
Interviewer: Khan Delin
Visual Content Sourcing: Felix R.