who's-cool vs. what's-cool


It's not news that consumers seek a retro-vibe of cool in "brand authenticity" built of local heritage, craft, and sincerity. Such products translate into "buying into a set of values" – a depressing phrase quoted in this NY Times article without irony. And this is why who's-cool will always matter more than what's-cool for illuminating patterns of American culture. Lest products become you.