Welcome to our column, "Hey, Quick Question," where we investigate seemingly random happenings in the fashion and beauty industries. Enjoy!
Mark Zuckerberg testified before Congress on Tuesday afternoon to answer questions regarding Facebook from the Senate Judiciary and Commerce committees. The nearly five-hour session covered the company's role in the 2016 presidential election, the social media platform's data privacy policies and the Cambridge Analytica data leak from 2015, among many other inquiries. But that's not what we're here to talk about. We're curious to know if Zuckerberg wore a suit. No, really, did he?
Yes, we said a suit. You know, those things that come with a jacket and a pair of pants that match the jacket and a shirt that's usually in a neutral color and a tie that can also be neutral but can also be a statement piece if you're feeling spicy. So did Zuckerberg wear a suit or not? Did he? It was reported well in advance that he was going to arrive on Capitol Hill in a suit but are you sure? Are you POSITIVE?
Okay, okay, okay. Fine. He wore a suit. And there's at least a dozen Hot Takes on said suit, too. "It's a big deal," according to The New Yorker, "the rare occasion when he wears a suit." The guy is famous for showing up to his Silicon Valley-based campus, as well as plenty of panels, talks and every other public appearance wearing a T-shirt or a hoodie and most definitely jeans and sneakers. That's his, as we say, lewk. So when Z-berg rolls up in anything that's fancier than biz-cas, you know something is up and shit is about go down.
And shit, indeed, went down: The Cut asked, "Who's This Little Sweetie in a Big-Boy Suit?" while Racked reminded us that "in 2018, when men want to look like adults, they suit up." Unless you're Zuckerberg, then you're a little sweetie in a big-boy suit. On the other hand, Vogue.com Makes the Case™ that The Suit™ is a "wake-up call for aspiring tech brainiacs everywhere." A Power Move™, perhaps?
Hollywood Reporter's Pret-a-Reporter gave its most Hollywood Reporter-esque spin on the matter with a sweet little celebrity reference: "But don't call him Justin Timberlake just yet — Zuckerberg's slate blue suit and micro-patterned periwinkle tie were a far cry from suave." Boom! Roasted. GQ.com likened the suit to a dog collar: “Hiked up around his ears as a representation of his shame (and to prevent him from licking those stitches).” Woof.
We're always here for The Washington Post's Robin Givhan Hot Takes and she delivered, noting the poor fit of Zuckerberg’s ensemble — his suit too large, his collar too big and his tie sloppily knotted. "There was no hint of pride in his appearance. No personal flair or polish," wrote Givhan. "Everything about his attire was perfunctory. He could have done better, and he has." Plenty of publications recalled previous occasions where Zuckerberg also wore a suit, and we can't help but wonder if the research behind that looked something like this:
Slate gave a full-on review of Zuckerberg's suit, titled "Mark Zuckerberg's Congressional Hearing Suit, Reviewed," which can best be described as on another level:
The cutaway collar of his shirt hints at his self-conception as a bold, forward-thinking entrepreneur. In that context, the Facebook brand-identity blue of the tie underneath reads as a token of narcissism. Zuckerberg isn’t just representing Facebook. The company itself is a personal accessory worn like a medal—or an albatross—around his neck.
Damn! Go off, Slate!
Over at The New York Times, Vanessa Friedman also shared her thoughts on Zuckerberg's attire. "Cosmetic, perhaps. Superficial, sure," she wrote. "Presumably once he is back on the West Coast he'll go right back to hoodies and tees. But it was strategic and optically effective nonetheless." Friedman also asked others for more takes to add to her own take: "As a symbolic gesture it was absolutely the right message," said Alan Flusser, a man who makes suits for a living.
On Wednesday, Zuckerberg will spend his second day on Capitol Hill testifying in front of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which brings us to our next question: Will he a wear a suit? No, really, will he? Are you sure? Are you POSITIVE?