Japanese Prime Minister’s ’80s Fashion Gaffe Launches Ironic Trend (And It Costs $500!)

How fashion works today: 1) Something hilarious and slightly outlandish goes viral on the internet. 2) We have a few laughs and say, You can’t be serious. 3) Someone decides the style is “edgy” or “ironic” (or worse, doesn’t see the problem to begin with), and it becomes a trend. 4) More horribly dressed people in the world. Someone makes a profit.

That’s what happened with the heinous shirt Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama wore not too long ago. We, along with most of the other cyber commentators out there, assumed that Mr. Hatoyama had just gotten dressed in 1984 and never changed his outfit. Someone even said, “Walmart wouldn’t even take it.”

Turns out, the Japanese politico might just be a sneaky style genius … The garment apparently came from a custom shirt retailer called ShirtsMyWay.com. Following Hatoyama’s fashion fiasco, the company has seen such a huge interest in the style that they’ve now even dedicated a page to him, calling the political figure a “fashion hero.” And, get this — you can order the tailored style online, if you’re willing to put down $500 for it.

So here’s what’s going to happen next: Before you know it, Opening Ceremony or Colette will pick this up and jack up the price to $1,000. Next, everyone and their mom from Kanye to Mary-Kate will be wearing one, at which point the mass retailers will start producing a $20 knock-off that you can buy at … Walmart. Oh, the irony. [Huffington Post]