Tuesday, February 26, 2019

#gothisnotkillstar


So me and other people from the Gothy Discord have been using this hashtag Aytakk came up with (he also came up with #toiletgoth), and it seems to have been causing some ruckus on the internet. I didn't think that I would need to explain the meaning of the hashtag in detail, but here we go.

There are a lot of problems with Killstar and Dollskill, but I'm not gonna bother to go into those. Cause the main problem is the marketing, and that brands like this have completely taken over goth on the internet. This makes people think that goth is about overpriced clothing, and nothing else. I've personally seen and talked to SO many people who say they ''can't afford to be goth'' because they think the expensive brand clothes are a requirement for being goth. THIS IS WRONG.

If you are ONLY wearing goff brand clothing and not participating in the scene in any way (and by that I mainly mean listening to the music), you are literally a poseur. Yup, I said it. That word comes from when some people would pose for photos when random people asked them to. Now I wasn't there, so I don't know if they were ONLY in it for the fashion, but this nevertheless left a bad taste in the mouth of the other people in the scene, probably because it leaves the impression that it's just a fashion thing. Killstar (or any other brand) doesn't make you a goth, like putting on a chef's uniform doesn't make you a chef, or a full outfit of Adidas doesn't make you an athlete.

THAT is what the hashtag means. But, I apparently also have to explain what it DOESN'T mean! Yes, you CAN wear goth brands if you want to. You can spend your money however you want, and wear whatever you want. That's not what we're saying here. Goth doesn't have a uniform. We celebrate creativity, and goths have been thrifting and DIY-ing since before it was even called goth. Remember our roots! It came out of punk, those kids didn't have a lot of money, but they still formed the look we associate with goth today. And sidenote, goth doesn't ''own'' black clothes, eyeliner, fishnets, bondage gear, big hair, leather, pointy shoes, boots or anything else. Goth has borrowed a lot from trends and other subcultures. Anyone can wear those things, but that doesn't mean they're a goth. I've seen several ''normal'' people wear shoes that look a lot like winklepickers around lately. Pretty much everyone has black clothes - and every person who wears make-up probably owns black eyeliner. So no article of clothing (or amount of it) can make you a goth.

Aytakk made one specifically for this!
And he's the one who made it up, listen to him!
This isn't shitting on babybats and newcomers to the scene - in fact, quite the opposite. We're trying to help them out by informing them that goth isn't about expensive clothes and an extravagant look. You can be goth without even looking like it. If you want to, awesome, but if you can't, that doesn't mean you're not good enough (I've literally seen people say they think they aren't because of that). When I was younger, I definitely bought from alternative brands, cause I didn't know any other way to look cool. I still have and wear those things, but in recent years I've learned to DIY and I've pretty much only bought stuff at thrift stores and sales - mostly at H&M, but goth brands too.

I'm not sure why people have been shouting elitist gatekeeper at this. Nobody is saying you CAN'T wear Killstar or any other brand. It doesn't make you ''less of a goth'' either (nothing does - unless you're not a fan of goth music of course). We're not telling people what to do with their lives. The hashtag is just meant to be what it literally says; ''Goth is not Killstar'' - cause it isn't. Not ''Killstar makes you ungoth'' or anything else.

If you have any questions, concerns or anything, comment below!
For further reading, check out Aytakk's newest article on The Belfry!
Also check out Kelly's video on the topic!


32 comments:

  1. This was painful to read. Please learn how to write properly.
    In the 21st century, Goth is about fashion 98% of the time now. It's not so much about the music anymore. That's a fact and those that work in the scene will confirm that. In the larger cities, is it about being "seen" and dressing to the nines in your best.

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    1. Did you know 98% of statistics are made up on the spot?

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    2. That's not what goth is about. A person may look like a goth, but that does not make them one. Fashion trends in goth also exist in other subcultures and the alternative scene at large, which she addressed in the 4th paragraph. Please learn how to read properly before commenting.

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    3. Wow, wtf, I never read anything more wrong.

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  2. Proud member of the so-called "2%" who believe it's STILL based on the music, since 1985...
    and I even MAKE goth fashion, FFS.

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    1. Also in that supposed 2% who gives AF about the music.

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  3. I remember this "argument" when Lipservice was popular in the 90s and then Shrine and various other lines. They were coveted clothing lines for the elder Goths back in the day. The founder of Killstar is a Goth individual and I applaud her success in tapping into a market that has provided a plethora of wonderful items. She made some excellent smart investments, knows how to run a successful business and her exposure online, is the result of that. That's the whole point of an online business. I see no problems with Killstar as a company and wish her all the best. I personally love the clothing as the quality and fit has been better than anything that can be found locally. They've gained a strong customer base through that. We shouldn't expect anything less from their strong business model. I wish people would stop bashing Tequila's success when she followed her dream and made something of herself while a majority of people don't. So much for supporting people in the Goth world and celebrating their victories. This blog post is just going in circles and not quite making a valid point though. The relevancy seems really scattered. Along with the music, Goth has always been about extravagance and dramatics as well as attitude. Fashion has been a huge part of the identity of our culture and always will be. The only difference now is that people are more snobby about it thanks to social media (where fashion photos -such as yours- are visibly the driving force behind what is defining "Goth"). There is sort of a "uniform" to the culture whether you think so or not. Why else would the clubs be full of similar attire? There are certain elements we all strive for. It's a silent agreement that there is a certain "dress code" to a degree to enter our world. You seem fairly young and seem to not quite relate to how things were in the past in the Goth world and how it functions today. Many babybats use the DIY argument as almost an underlining "elitist" stance which I find amusing. It's not something the Elder goths obsess over or even argue about to this extent. As an Elder Goth, I will say that as we gain larger incomes, we do prefer higher end clothing and there is nothing wrong with that-as you said. What we are doing is investing into the local designers like Killstar, helping keep our world moving forward and keeping things innovative. We remember DIY days, but those days are in the past for the majority due to lifestyle and demographic shifts. The luxury of accessibility with online retail has been wondrous with our busy career lives and very limited free time. We live in an era where the internet is giving us more options than a thrift store and it's fantastic. Had the internet been around in the 80s-early 90s, the same situation now would have been present then.

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    1. No one is bashing Killstar for existing. But when new goths think they have to buy Killstar products to be goth that is a big problem. The advertising techniques they employ feed this problem.

      As for Killstar's quality you tend to hear more aftermarket reviews saying it isn't good enough for the price. The sponsored reviews do not show what wear and tear does to the product. Plus who is going to give a bad review and risk their sponsorship being cut off?

      I was around in the 90s too and while some brands were about they had nowhere near the stranglehold Killstar does now nor an emphasis that you needed to buy them to be goth.Buying alternative brands is optional, not mandatory to be goth.

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    2. I have never heard of anyone saying they have to buy Killstar to be Goth. I do see there is a brand following, which is to be expected through successful campaigns. They have a very clean and refined imagery that captures a certain essence. There is no issue with their advertising if you know how that industry works and what it entails. They are nailing their target market successfully. That's the whole point of a business. If people have an issue with their marketing, then they need to have an issue with all the other Goth clothing brands like Restyle, Lip Service (what they used to do in their later stages), Kreepsville666, Punk Rave etc etc. They all employ the same techniques and set certain imagery with their advertising. The only difference is the amount of energy being invested into advertising, which some are not doing probably due to their budgets. In the 90s no brand had the same emphasis because social media did not exist and the internet was still new and a hassle to work with. Exposure was very limited and done through word of mouth. You either had to have access to the catalogs or find them in a store. You can't even compare the 90s marketing to today's. It's completely irrelevant to try and compare them. No one ever said buying brands was mandatory.

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    3. Dear angry wall of text poster,

      You compared 90s to today in your first post. And tried to pull rank with elder goth.

      A common statement from kids now in places online where goths talk is I can't afford to be goth because of the marketing through social media.

      I am wondering if you aren't one of those social media people they sponsor and talk like this article could be a threat to your livelihood.

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    4. Sorry I should make that clearer.

      A common statement from kids now in places online where goths talk is "I can't afford to be goth" because of the marketing through social media.

      Everyone can afford to be goth. Money doesn't matter.

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    5. Killstar steals independent artists' work and the aesthetic seems to be to chuck as many "edgy" occult symbols on a piece as will fit, no matter what the original meaning of those symbols might have been or whether they have anything to do with one another. It's like occult alphabet soup, and a lot of times just doesn't make any sense.

      I worked in a clothing store when the original Lip Service stuff came out in the 80s, and prior to that every so often I'd save up my pennies and order from Bogey's, but these were just a few pieces and the vast majority of us always thrifted and/or adapted the rest of our wardrobes, which made for a far more interesting variety. Also, the brands were much smaller and harder to find, so you had a far better chance of not showing up in the same thing as someone else--with perhaps the exception of your winklepickers or leather jacket, but your jacket was modded with patches, paint and/or pins anyway.

      Once again, though--the point she's making here is simply don't think you have to wear whatever the brand du jour is in order to be goth. I hear kids saying they "can't afford to"be goth all the time, and that is not now and NEVER HAS BEEN the point.

      Yes, the look helps us identify our own, but you can get that look in any number of fun, CHEAP and interesting ways, rather than going cookie-cutter with it.

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    6. I get the impression that this person knows the founder of Killstar personally. For the 100th time, this is not telling anyone not to buy Killstar. A lot of us own Killstar products. It's just a reminder for those who can't afford it and feel left out seeing these pricey brands blasted all over social media.

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    7. From my perspective it came from unemployment, primarily, but I gather that t- shirts etc will do.

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    8. Might I add, that although they are indeed less linked to this problem, other goth fashion brands such as Restyle, Punk Rave etc absolutely DO add to this same problem. Killstar is only targeted as the main culprit because of their visibility.

      As for painting Killstar's founder as some sort of brilliant visionnary who simply launched a successful business... oh please. Killstar's many issues and problematic attitudes have been abundantly documented by now. Not the least of which is how they've basically turned into alternative fast fashion, releasing new stuff every single month, more frequently every other two weeks, even!

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  4. Anonymous; Experiences vary but I have not met a lot of goths out there who were soley in it for the fashion. It's a culture and lifestyle for many of them. Dressing "goth" vs living as a "goth" is, in my experience, two different things.

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    1. From my experience, living in Los Angeles, the majority are there for the Fashion. I've also experience this in the other Goth capitals such as Denver, Houston, Portland and Seattle. It's very rare to find people who know anything about the music anymore. People are familiar with the basic top popular bands but that's about it. People have gotten very lazy about the music and caring about what's out there. It's purely for the aesthetics more so these days.Those who have stuck around past 15+ years are usually the ones living the actual lifestyle. I'm seeing far too many transition in and out of the scene faster than ever these days, especially from the younger crowd who have not grown up into an invested culture like we did pre-internet when there weren't so many fashion genres and options.

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    2. Phase goths have always been a thing. They come, play around for a while and leave. Maybe goth isn't for them or it is merely an edgy form of rebellion. I would say more people go with goth long term than they used to. The average age in goth clubs is higher than ever.

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    3. Im part of the scene, but I rarely dress the part. The closest to alternative is a Dio-shirt, because Im a fan of that band. If you are underage, though, from what I know, in HS such as the US, schools tends to have their own alternative groups of metalheads, goths, etc that you can reach out to. Otherwise you have forums like VampireFreaks. A lot of people within these scenes have a hard time getting into any public ebent etc, because they live in an area with few other alternatives. Most likely the countryside. As for me, Im not that active for the time being because Im ditt poor and saving money for concert tickets. Priorities.

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  5. buy cool shit you like but you don't have to buy anything to be goth. brands are not mandatory in spite of greedy corporations trying to exploit alternative culture. they create demand by trying to make people think they have to buy their shit so you can belong.It is all a load of crap because goth is not about that.

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  6. No one has ever really fully agreed on what goth is. The argument about whether it is music or fashion has been going on for as long as goths have existed. Personally I think that you really can't enjoy one without enjoying, or at least accepting the other. I was a pre-internet goth from a small town, and I still live by the DIY aesthetic. Being able to buy fancy gothic clothes is wonderful - but it isn't mandatory.

    I don't like Killstar for a few reasons - the clothes are cheaply made, they use stolen artwork, and their use of occult symbols is a little too Engrish.com for me.

    There is nothing wrong with buying gothic clothes, but there is also nothing wrong with buying an old prom dress from Goodwill and cutting, sewing, and painting it until you have created something amazing.

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    1. I think thats a fair point. It means different things to different people. Allthough, I would argue there are certain standards. The music, the lifestyle, the fashion, etc

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  7. This is why I've done things for my blog like share favorite gothic pieces I've seen at Target and talked about thrifting or customizing pieces. I tell people to keep an eye out wherever you go because you'll see something you can turn into a unique piece. That said, I still love some of my killstar pieces, it's just not required, as you said.

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  8. I feel like a bunch of you aren't reading the words that are in plain English.

    The hashtag isn't anti-Killstar. It isn't anti-anything except this very clear concept:

    You don't have to buy and wear Killstar (or any other brand of clothing) to be Goth.

    There's nothing controversial about that statement.

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  9. Very interesting. I am an old man and I remember if a girl wore black tights with boots, black eyeliner and black nail polish (before it was cool-I am talking 1980's here) and if a guy wore Docs with a trench coat, they were considered Goth. There is a page in high school yearbook dedicated to these two Goth girls (It is interesting as 30 years later, they are very establishment these days). I always thought Goth was more of an attitude and a lifestyle rather than fashion choices. Just an old man rambling here.

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  10. If you were 1% as Goth as Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, you'd realize that there's a lot more to Goth than any particular assortment of musical choices, or going to certain clubs to listen to said music and try to look cool. Gatekeeping isn't nice whether you choose one standard (expensive clothes) or another (certain bands.) If someone is willing to say they are Goth and participate in any of the ways, they're Goth.

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  11. https://open.spotify.com/album/1nxxwbdUerLxoxUdfxgxTw?si=RKIFkSumQ36z82TtEa8McQ

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  12. The true reality is that Killstar is NOT goth at all. Yes, all the posers believe and "Think" Killstar is goth clothing when it's stated clearly that its Occult Luxury clothing. How is Goth and Occult Luxury remotely similar?? I think Killstar was aimed mainly for Witches and Satanists more or less what its for Occult Luxury fashion and I think the only reason why Killstar is now using goth in anything is because the posers wouldn't quit whining and being salty so Killstar went along with being "Goth" and Nu Goth is Witch pretty much what the Witchy look its remotely not goth at all. People are so dumb and uneducated nowadays about literally everything and anything its sad and hilarious I had quite the laugh from reading this and the grammar here is horrifying to no end. Learn what real goth is and what Killstar brand truly is about and who it was originally aimed at.

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  13. Just stumbled across this... I don't see one mention of what "Goth" means... Meaning you are all "Posers". Who gives a crap where people buy their clothing? I'm from Hollywood CA and haunted many clubs in the 80's and 90's... It's not all Dracula and Bats, it's FINDING THE BEAUTY IN THE DARKEST PLACES. It's movement and how one walks, it's how we delve into books from Mythology & the real "Fairy Tales" before Disney made them Pretty, it's a language of love for ALL PEOPLE THAT FIND THE 'ODD' FASCINATING. I'm OG (ORIGINAL GOTH aka DEATH ROCK), Creepers and white face powder(baby powder in 1987), deep red lips and eyeliner, it's black Chucks, plaid skirts, it's Punk, it's Metal.... It's a LIFE STYLE not "Clothing". Until your house looks like your idea of a Gothic Paradise,be it eclectic, romantic, punk or Halloween, your family of friends have lived this way for over 30 years and you still want to save every black cat, bat and black dog from superstitious freaks.... You're in a phase.

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  14. The day I let someone define whether I am goth or not. Then I definitely am not.

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