The NASA fashion supernova

People love to wear NASA stuff. And brands like a free licensing deal.

People who aren’t astronauts love wearing NASA stuff. You’ll find it at H&M and Urban Outfitters, and on celebs like Dua Lipa, Chris Evans, and Ariana Grande (who has a song titled “NASA”).

But where does it all come from?

Coach, apparently

When Coach released a line of NASA apparel in 2017, the space agency allowed the use of its old “worm” logo (1975-92) for the first time since it was retired, per CNN.

Since then, NASA-branded merch has skyrocketed, according to Bert Ulrich, who oversees the use of NASA’s logos.

  • Ulrich told CNN that, prior to 2017, he received ~5-10 logo approvals a week. Now, it’s ~225, and 2021 saw a record 11k+ requests.

But why is it so popular?

For brands, it’s free. NASA is a government agency, so many of its assets are in the public domain. They do have to request approval, though, and there are rules — for example, NASA won’t eff with NFTs.

For customers, space is cool and NASA has broad appeal. Even before the trend, fashionistas were hunting down vintage T-shirts at thrift stores.

BTW: Feeling fancy? You could try to find a puffer jacket or fanny pack from Balenciaga’s NASA capsule collection. They’re $$$, but cheaper than Virgin Galactic’s $450k space tour.

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