A perfect night to dress up

Taylor Swift T.S. 1989 sweatshirtAbout five and a half billion people on this plain granite planet will recognize this sweatshirt as being part of Taylor Swift’s new clothing line, intended to promote her platinum / palladium / unobtainium album 1989, in stores now and not streaming very much. That leaves a billion and a half who might see something different in it:

The date — as well as being Swift’s year of birth — refers to her album and live tour of the same name, which she will perform in Shanghai in November.

But the date — and the initials TS — are particularly sensitive in China, as they signify the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989, when hundreds of students were killed in pro-democracy protests.

Bad move? Maybe not. Chinese retailer JD.com, which will carry the Swift line, doesn’t seem to have any trouble selling the 1989 CD.

(Via Marginal Revolution.)

2 comments

  1. Wild Bull McGehee »

    26 July 2015 · 9:10 am

    But the date — and the initials TS — are particularly sensitive in China, as they signify the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989

    The sweatshirt does not signify what its author does not intend. If people read something else into it, they are hijacking its meaning for their own purposes – which is a theft of intellectual property.

  2. CGHill »

    26 July 2015 · 11:43 am

    Cultural appropriation?

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