The state of loneliness has been dissected thoroughly of late, spurred by headlines that weighed the pros and cons of living alone
, suggested that Facebook contributes to social isolation
, and, most recently, considered younger generations’ seeming inability to commit
. The notion of a so-called Loneliness Epidemic seems to have struck a nerve, as evidenced by the recent emergence of initiatives that make it a mission to reach out and hug someone.
‘Hug Me’ Jacket:
London College of Fashion grad Si Chan
recently premiered a Fall/Winter menswear line that uses recurring hand imagery to express the concept of human connectedness. Aptly titled HUG ME
, the collection aims to recreate the human embrace by strategically adorning coats, jackets, and pants with plush padded gloves. The line’s widely covered
(and as-widely panned
) Hug Me jacket
takes this schema to the extreme, featuring a row of clasped green hands in place of the traditional button or zipper placket. Designed to make its wearer feel “warm and hugged,” the jacket will retail for approximately $1,200, making it pretty much the priciest hug we can imagine.
Subjects of Web Esteem
, those people whose online popularity is irrevocably linked to their sense of self-worth, can now enjoy a real-world boost of confidence from the Like-A-Hug
social media vest. Conceived by a team of MIT researchers in an attempt to make more tangible the warm and fuzzy feelings
a Facebook like can generate, the vest is designed to inflate
when its wearer receives a like, post, video, or photo on his or her Facebook Timeline. The vest simulates the pressure of a hug, letting the wearer know in real-time that they've been formally endorsed in their social sphere.
took a high-fashion approach to the Free Hugs movement
in a recent promotional stunt, enlisting a band of models on a New York City-wide mission to deliver hugs to the masses. Models were deployed in high-traffic areas such as SoHo, Union Square, and Columbus Circle, armed with signage and Shoptiques-branded swag to lure pedestrians. Individuals in need of a hug but lacking the time to search for one could book their hug in advance, or track the Hug Squad’s whereabouts via Twitter. No word on how many hugs were distributed, but the campaign earned considerable media buzz
on the day it hit the streets.