Neo-Nazi Fashion a Big Hit With Trendy Europeans

A new way to dress to oppress.

via Genius

For many years brands like Lonsdale, Fred Perry, and New Balance were the favored brands of right-wing fascists in Europe. The N on sneakers could easily be repurposed to reference Nazism, and the unofficial uniform of a shaved head, bomber jacket, and military boots acted as visual signifiers of group affiliation. But due to brand backlash, and in some cases, the outright banning of certain garments, far right-wingers have been forced to get a little more creative in their sartorial choices. One brand that saw room in the market for a new, Nazi-friendly line was Thor Steinar, a multimillion dollar label run from a small town on the fringes of Berlin, that uses the Nordic imagery and gothic lettering that has become a trademark of the subculture. Though on the surface they may look like Abercrombie & Fitch or Diesel, the company has subtly woven into its designs Nazi references such as a Messerschmitt aircraft and Germanic runes (among others).

Thor Steinar seen at a German rally, courtesy of Der Spiegel online.

For the past decade, Thor Steinar has been synonymous with Germany’s fascist element, but was largely confined to a small, fringe population. But as mentioned on the New Republic’s homepage yesterday, in 2010 Ukrainian activist Pavel Klymenko, who monitors extreme right wing activity in European football culture, started noticing the brand being sported by Kiev’s upper classes. “Previously it had been worn by Ukrainian neo-Nazis who want to show off,” Klymenko told the magazine. “Now it was becoming popular among wealthy people.” The label has even inspired a series of ubiquitous knock-offs. The irony in all this is that Kiev’s only Thor Steinar store, now shuttered, was located in Dream Town, a luxury mall co-owned by a prominent Jewish businessman. Klymenko attributes this situation to ignorance of the line, rather than malicious intent. “It was attracting random customers who didn’t have a clue about the history of the brand.” Thor Steinar appealed to the macho aesthetic of Eastern Europe, and politics had nothing to do with it. Now, with shops extending throughout Central and Eastern Europe, activists are seeing a disturbing rise of Thor Steinar apparel in mainstream fashion. In Moscow alone there are 13 locations.

One of Thor Steinar's popular designs, the allusions to SS insignia obvious.

While Germany explicitly forbids the display of Nazi symbols, Thor Steinar has cleverly pushed these limits. Their logo, an X and two dots that closely resembles an illegal Nazi symbol, was banned by a German court in 2004. The group was able to “win back” their logo 4 years later, emboldened to create T-shirts with more overt slogans like “Ski Heil” or “Desert Fox”—riffs on verboten Third Reich terms. Dispelling any notion that they are not actually a neo-nazi brand, Thor Steinar also rolled out a sub-line called “Nordmark,” named after an infamous Nazi concentration camp and sporting division. Some neo-Nazis themselves are cynical about the line, however. “Thor Steinar has never been obviously political,” says Patrick Schroeder, a prominent German neo-Nazi, “but they knew that if you use Nordic designs, neo-Nazis could be a target group. It was an ice-cold political, economic calculation and it worked out for them.” Though clearly intended for a politicized right wing, often the garment of choice at neo Nazi rallies, they’re now attracting new fans. As The New Republic noted, “In Slovakia, the brand has become popular among metal and hip-hop fans.” The brand’s first London store is, ironically, located in the largely Jewish North Finchley neighborhood. While in recent years the brand’s domination of the market has diminished due to rivals Erik & Sons, Ansgar Aryan, Fourth Time, and Reconquista, it still shares the dubious honor of being the most recognizably pro-Nazi line on the market. “In Germany,” says Berlin-based writer Thomas Rodgers “Thor Steinar’s mainstream appeal is limited by the fact that wearing its clothing in public remains the closest legal equivalent to wearing a swastika.” Though we can’t imagine Thor Steiner being a big hit with the Abercrombie set in the US, a representative for the brand told The Independent the company has registered its trademark in the United States, and is open to the idea of expanding there.

via Gage Skidmore / Flickr

If you are totally ready to move on from Donald Trump, you're not alone. According to a report last April from the Wason Center National Survey of 2020 Voters, "President Trump will be the least popular president to run for reelection in the history of polling."

Yes, you read that right, "history of polling."

Keep Reading Show less
via Around the NFL / Twitter

After three years on the sidelines, Colin Kapernick will be working out for multiple NFL teams on Saturday, November 16 at the Atlanta Falcons facility.

The former 49er quarterback who inflamed the culture wars by peacefully protesting against social injustice during the national anthem made the announcement on Twitter Tuesday.

Kaepernick is scheduled for a 15-minute on-field workout and an interview that will be recorded and sent to all 32 teams. The Miami Dolphins, Dallas Cowboys, and Detroit Lions are expected to have representatives in attendance.

RELATED: Joe Namath Says Colin Kaepernick And Eric Reid Should Be Playing In The NFL

"We like our quarterback situation right now," Miami head coach, Brian Flores said. "We're going to do our due diligence."

NFL Insider Steve Wyche believes that the workout is the NFL's response to multiple teams inquiring about the 32-year-old quarterback. A league-wide workout would help to mitigate any potential political backlash that any one team may face for making an overture to the controversial figure.

Kapernick is an unrestricted free agent (UFA) so any team could have reached out to him. But it's believed that the interested teams are considering him for next season.

RELATED: Video of an Oakland train employee saving a man's life is so insane, it looks like CGI

Earlier this year, Kaepernick and Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid reached a financial settlement with the league in a joint collusion complaint. The players alleged that the league conspired to keep them out after they began kneeling during the national anthem in 2016.

Before the 2019 season, Kaepernick posted a video of himself working out on twitter to show he was in great physical condition and ready to play.

Kaepnick took the 49ers to the Super Bowl in 2012 and the NFC Championship game in 2013.

He has the 23rd-highest career passer rating in NFL history, the second-best interception rate, and the ninth-most rushing yards per game of any quarterback ever. In 2016, his career to a sharp dive and he won only of 11 games as a starter.


In the category of "claims to fame nobody wants," the United States can now add "exporter of white supremacist ideology" to its repertoire. Super.

Russell Travers, acting director of the National Counterterrorism Center, made this claim in a briefing at The Washington Institute in Washington, D.C. "For almost two decades, the United States has pointed abroad at countries who are exporters of extreme Islamist ideology," Travers said. "We are now being seen as the exporter of white supremacist ideology. That's a reality with which we are going to have to deal."

Keep Reading Show less

Between Alexa, Siri, and Google, artificial intelligence is quickly changing us and the way we live. We no longer have to get up to turn on the lights or set the thermostat, we can find the fastest route to work with a click, and, most importantly, tag our friends in pictures. But interacting with the world isn't the only thing AI is making easier – now we can use it save the world, too.

Keep Reading Show less
Good News