Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Keffiyeh Continued: "Not Dead By a Long Shot" by Ted Swedenburg

I mentioned Ted Swedenburg's Hawgblawg and his funny "keffiyeh-spotting" feature the other day and coincidentally he posted a new one as I was writing, so I thought I'd repost it to continue our keffiyeh conversation...

The Kufiya: Not Dead by a Long Shot
(via Ted Swedenburg's Hawgblawg)

"The kufiya has had its designer moment. That's over. But it still remains an important style item. Here are a few examples.

1. Bill Cunningham's always wonderful series of street-fashion photos in the Sunday New York Times Style section today has a particularly exciting report. Cunningham claims that male fashion in NY City is today as vibrant and creative as it was in the 60s. And he has the photos to prove it. Check out the video and Cunningham's smart commentary.

One of Cunningham's photos features a young man in kufiya (at left). This look, of course, is in no way "hipster" fashion, as conventionally understood. Artsy middle class professional? I'm not sure how to describe this look.

When I was in Philadelphia in December most of the kufiyas I spotted were worn by African-Americans. They weren't displayed in quite such spectacular outfits as this one, but on the other hand, they were not hip-hop either. More bohemian or artsy. And various colors. These days I find myself particularly liking the turquoise ones.

2. To support my point about kufiyas being stylish in urban Africa-America, here's a photo from thesartorialist.com of a mother and daughter, on the streets of NY City, November 2009. Rochelle, who spotted this for me, particularly likes the white dangly balls. I agree. Cunningham observes in his commentary today that men in New York have opted for color in their clothing, while women have gone toward black. He calls this "peacock" style. This photo would seem to support that observation.

3. I reported earlier on the "jerk" dancing phenomenon. Here's some more evidence that the kufiya often goes along with the distinctive skinny jeans. This photo is from a video by the Long Beach jerkin' outfit Team Dummy, which shows them out on the streets, jerkin'. Watch the vid here.

My kufiya posting is way behind. There's still a substantial backlog to put up and describe...stay tuned."


  1. did you hear that now the Israelis are trying to claim it as their own? What the FUCK.


  2. @DIMA
    Yeah... sigh. That is gonna be part three.