Striped socks. Torn jeans. Skateboard shoes. Long beards. Disheveled hair. $4 coffees.
Grimy was always cool but then it got expensive. Brooklyn became unaffordable. The cool kids moved to LA and Portland to rebirth cool.
But grimy can still be cool and make money at the same time without losing its authenticity.
The X Games doesn’t take anything away from skateboarding. Despite going mainstream, skateboarding has been able to maintain a culture of edginess, raw enthusiasm, and an appreciation for old and new tricks. Fashion also unleashes creativity, often recycling things from the past to recreate something new.
So if you know something that’s cool and cheap now, it’s probably going to find a larger audience in the future. The artist inside you denies this but the business person inside you sees the opportunity.
The good news is that however you rate or commercialize coolness, the cafeteria coffee will always be available.