Vito recently made a post about Icon’s obsession to establish itself as a counter-culture, alternative-apparel sort of brand. They want to be hip. They market helmets straight to the mecha-crazed anime generation. Their product descriptions are witty and self-deprecating. They believe that sport and cruiser clans can coexist. Truly, a progressive motoring institution.
What’s interesting is that this progressive institution adds on a little bit more protection to their jackets than just shoulder pads, denim, and bomb-proof zippers.
They add–well, what would you call it?
I’ve been riding motorcycles for about two years. Started out with a GSXR 600 and an Icon Hooligan Jacket that reminded me of this Demetri Martin bit about guys in leather jackets are cool, but if you see a dude in a leather vest, that’s very uncool. So, you know what that means? It’s the sleeves, the leather sleeves that are cool. And this jacket is denim–with leather sleeves. And that makes me cool, my friend.
Anyway, it was only a month ago that I noticed something odd on the inside of my left-vest pocket. To my Protestant surprise – it was a St. Christopher medallion. Probably the most famous medallion face short of Jesus and Mary, St. Christopher has been featured in every bad-gangster-turned-philanthropist movie for years as the patron saint of travels. Legend has it, the old guy carried the baby Jesus over a stream, and he nearly buckled under the weight of carrying a child with the “whole world on his shoulders”.
I checked a couple of places and found an article on motorcycledaily.com which documented their own discovery of this little gem and their search for answers. They ended up giving Phil Davy, “Icon’s opinionated and straight shooting brand manager a call,” and he told them, when pressed, that “it really was not meant as a religious statement as it was a much-needed good luck charm for all faiths, or no faith. If you don’t like it do one of two things: cut the medallion out or just don’t buy the garment. For the complainers out there, go complain to your Mom.”
But this still begs the question. Is it wise to include an object of faith in apparel? It’s not just the nonreligious you could offend, but those to whom St. Christopher means a great deal – the guys who don’t have to look up what he’s the patron saint of on Wikipedia before writing an article.
Icon has included a St. Christopher medal in all of their jackets for the past four years, but you wouldn’t know it unless you happened to reach way down in that pocket and find it. Or see this article.
So what do you guys think? Icon says it doesn’t necessarily have to be religious, just a good luck charm, but obviously someone in the corporate hierarchy thinks it’s doing some good. Would you be offended to find such an item sewn into your liner, or would you be encouraged by the thought that Icon is looking out for your body and your soul?