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Thursday, May 5, 2016

In Menswear There Is So Much Drama In The Details - Take Cufflinks For Example

In 2012 the Senate Banking Committee confronted the CEO of JP Morgan Chase, Jamie Dimon, the largest of the American big four banks, on the loss of a couple of billion dollars or more in risky trades. Dimon, a Greek American with an MBA from Harvard managed to somehow navigate his way through the scandal even though it was later estimated that the trading losses sustained by the JP Morgan London branch was closer to six billion dollars.

Despite all the brouhaha that was going on at the time about regulation of the banking industry and money markets, Dimon and most of his banking cohorts faced very little disciplinary action either by the Republican or Democratic parties and the show just rolled on as though it was business as usual.

In actual fact, the only thing that seemed to leave a more lasting impression on the American people and the American media was Dimon's cufflinks. It had the American media up in arms, for they did not know how to interpret what might have been an imperceptible menswear accessory to anybody who happened to pass Dimon on the street. But that's exactly it, they weren't imperceptible to people in the know. They were cufflinks bearing the Seal Of The President Of The United States Of America.

This left the American media at a loss to explain their meaning. What was it that Dimon was trying to say? Was it that he had the backing of President Obama ? One website said that he had visited the White House 16 times and met with the President at least three times. Another said that it was a message to the Republican Senators that he didn't care what they thought, he sided with those in power. Another, that he was sending a message to President Obama not to grill him too hard. What Jamie Dimon was thinking perhaps only Jamie Dimon knows but it created an awful lot of subterfuge that distracted Americans away from the simple fact that the banking industry was still making poor decisions regarding credit default swaps and that the world of money would continue revolving regardless of what Washington thought. Dimon has an estimated wealth of 1.1 billion USD along with a 20 million dollar a year salary package. He is regarded as one of the best CEO's in the United States and also as one of the best dressed too. It's therefore likely that Dimon knew exactly what message he was conveying.

That is the nature of menswear that perhaps many men do not consider before they dress in the morning. Each of us is capable of sending out signals to other members of society and even the smallest of our accessories can have an impact on others regardless of whether we even care to notice it ourselves. The colours that you wear, the fit of your shirt, the silk on your tie, your lapel pin, the cufflinks you choose, the shoes on your feet, everything is open for interpretation. In the case of Dimon, much media chatter was centred around a pair of cufflinks that quite possibly had been given by anyone in the President's Office, perhaps they were even fake... Regardless, they were enough to have tongues wagging all across the USA about the relationship between big banks and the Oval Office.

Remember, there is drama in the details.

Source: Getty Images

JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon - considered one of the best dressed CEO's  in the United States.

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