In prehistoric times, a person's apparel was a testament to physical agility and hunting prowess. Your apparel was only as spectacular as the animal you had the ability to kill. The person who was the fastest, strongest and coolest, the leader of the evolutionary pack in the "survival of the fittest" pageant, also had the best outfits. (Think monumental grizzly skin capes with the head still attached, which functioned as both a protective hood and a mask used for the countless mating rituals that resulted from being the most dashing fish in the pond). On the other side of the spectrum, the guy who was too sluggish to orchestrate a bear hunt sported culottes pieced together with rat tails and sloth pelts, and incidentally, had a severe handicap in the fashion arena. If we've learned anything from our cave-dwelling predecessors (besides the virtues of chinchilla fur-lined bikinis and matching boots), it is that your basic human worth is measured by what you wear.

These days, now that we are liberated from the pressures of killing our own couture, we have design houses and brand names to conveniently supply our sense of self-worth for us. No longer must we labor under the sun to prove our majesty with a buffalo head brooch. One's social superiority is easily exhibited with a Louis Vuitton clutch, which suggests that you a) are capricious, ridiculous, and blingin' enough to buy a $3,000 bag, b) have a malleable boyfriend that shares many qualities (OK, one) with an eager ATM machine or c) possess the infinite persistence and skill required to be that lucky fuck that finds the $3,000 bag for $30 on eBay. All laudable qualities, of course.

One's labels announce to the audience at large (the world) the quality of your person. Just as LV can announce your superficiality in all its fabulous facets, wearing Abercrombie & Fitch bannered across your bosom is like getting a vaguely Asian character that means "generic" tattooed across your face. So be careful; they don't call it branding for nothing.


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