There is definitely something about the Slogan T-shirts that is quite endearing and has a vintage, classic pull to it. While actor Marlon Brando may have popularized the classic tee on-screen with A Streetcar Named Desire (1951), it was American Republican candidate Thomas E. Dewey who used the first-ever slogan T-shirt in 1948 for his “Dew it with Dewey” presidential campaign though with not much political success. Over the years, the slogan tees have grown in popularity with the setting up of Disneyland and sale of their graphic tees in the 1950s, iconic pop artist Andy Warhol’s silk-screen printing technology of the 1960s, and the rise of pop music culture and the unmissable anti-war protests during the 70s.
The current trend of the slogan t-shirts seems to be on a rise being used as a perfect mean to make political, economic, social or a moral fashion statement. Sharing your opinion, or someone else’s, on your shirt is a guaranteed conversation starter. Seen on runways from New York to Paris, the wordy tees are everywhere. What’s more is that it’s fashion’s headiest designers who’ve taken up the trend with Haider Ackermann showing versions that read “Be Your Own Hero” and “Silent Soldier” to Michael Kors’s intarsia “Love” sweater. “We Should All Be Feminists” at Dior takes the cake for clearest political messaging.
Designers are hooked on to the trend primarily for two reasons–Firstly to use the slogans as a method to bring about a change in society & thought processes and secondly to grab instant attention which automatically results in better sales. There is no denying that fashion is most determinedly a great form of self-expression (literally too)! Don’t you agree?