via Racked SF"> clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Why Style Secretly Matters to Silicon Valley's Tech Millionaires

Image <a href="http://sf.racked.com/archives/2014/09/10/peter-thiel-zero-to-one-silicon-valley-fashion.php">via</a> Racked SF
Image via Racked SF

Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.

There's a hidden meaning to the typical Silicon Valley uniform, and the Financial Post recently talked to fashion experts to figure out why startup millionaires and billionaires insist on wearing jeans, rumpled shirts, and hoodies.

According to Larry Rosen, CEO of the menswear brand Harry Rosen, dressing like you don't care is all about making a "counter-culture statement," which is much of a uniform as anything else. Rosen says that—surprise!—Palo Alto execs are secretly fashionable, and they just don't show that side to the public because it doesn't fit with the image of how tech geniuses should look.

Tech entrepreneur and rumored inspiration behind the HBO show Silicon Valley Peter Thiel also believes the ubiquitous startup hoodie is about more than just wearing something that's comfortable. Racked San Francisco published an excerpt from his new book Zero to One, in which Thiel argues that it's the logos on those sweatshirts that matter. He writes:

It's a cliché that tech workers don't care about what they wear, but if you look closely at those T-shirts, you'll see the logos of the wearers' companies—and tech workers care about those very much... The startup uniform encapsulates a simple but essential principle: everyone at your company should be different in the same way— a tribe of like-minded people fiercely devoted to the company's mission.
Mystery solved.
· What's under that hoodie? Silicon Valley has a secret passion for fashion [Financial Post]
· Peter Thiel Thinks Hoodies Are Good For Startups [Racked]