Connect to share and comment

The big picture view of an ever-changing global economy.

Steve Jobs: About that turtleneck

He wore it every day for a reason.
Steve jobs deadEnlarge
Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple, died on Oct. 5, 2011. (Justin Sullivan/AFP/Getty Images)

Just when you thought that everything that could be written about Apple founder Steve Jobs had been written, along comes the mock turtleneck.

To be more precise, I mean the black mock turtleneck and the Levis 501 jeans that Jobs wore.

Every. Single. Day. 

According to the forthcoming book "Steve Jobs" by Walter Isaacson, an excerpt of which was published today on Gawker, the idea for the late Apple founder's sartorial sameness came from, of all places, Japan.

Here's the book's relevant passage that Isaacson gave to Gawker: 

On a trip to Japan in the early 1980s, Jobs asked Sony's chairman Akio Morita why everyone in the company's factories wore uniforms. He told Jobs that after the war, no one had any clothes, and companies like Sony had to give their workers something to wear each day. Over the years, the uniforms developed their own signatures styles, especially at companies such as Sony, and it became a way of bonding workers to the company. "I decided that I wanted that type of bonding for Apple," Jobs recalled. 

Sony, with its appreciation for style, had gotten the famous designer Issey Miyake to create its uniform. It was a jacket made of rip-stop nylon with sleeves that could unzip to make it a vest. So Jobs called Issey Miyake and asked him to design a vest for Apple, Jobs recalled, "I came back with some samples and told everyone it would great if we would all wear these vests. Oh man, did I get booed off the stage. Everybody hated the idea."

In the process, however, he became friends with Miyake and would visit him regularly. He also came to like the idea of having a uniform for himself, both because of its daily convenience (the rationale he claimed) and its ability to convey a signature style. "So I asked Issey to make me some of his black turtlenecks that I liked, and he made me like a hundred of them." Jobs noticed my surprise when he told this story, so he showed them stacked up in the closet. "That's what I wear," he said. "I have enough to last for the rest of my life."

 

For more from Thomas Mucha on Twitter: 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/macro/steve-jobs-about-turtleneck