This past weekend, Pete Wentz, everyone’s favorite Ashlee Simpson-dating, penis-showing member of Fall Out Boy, opened his very own clothing store in Chicago. Apparently, being known as the worst bassist alive (Sid Vicious is very much dead) wasn’t enough and now Wentz wants to snap up the title of worst fashion mogul.
The store has been online for a bit, but the Chicago storefront is the first of what the world can hope will be the start of something big. Clandestine Industries, Wentz’s brainchild, is another example of why this bro needs to stop being taken seriously. With clever shirts that read “Make Love, Not Wentz” or “Drama King” this can’t be interpreted as anything but an egotistical foray into getting more money and celebrity.
A “Hero” screen-printed shirt subtly reverses the mentality of alternative rock of yesteryear popularized by The Smashing Pumpkins “Zero” T-shirt. Even more disconcerting than turning alt-rock into an outward projection of self-esteem instead of an inward reflection of self-deprecation is Wentz’s commodification of great literature.
“Team Hemingway” shirts come in a variety of colors at Clandestine Industries. Yes, I can see it now, a bunch of 15-year-old girls discussing the significance of inner conflict as shown in The Old Man and the Sea. We can only hope there’s a “Team Melville” shirt coming soon;
I think pre-teens could really get into “Bartleby, The Scrivener.”
Wentz is showing a bit too much how badly he wants to be Sean “Diddy” Combs. Diddy has Sean John, and Wentz has his bastard child of Hot Topic and Urban Outfitters. Diddy has Making the Band 2 and Making the Band 3 while Wentz has Panic! At the Disco and whatever other copycat band he’s promoting right now. Supposedly, Wentz has the intention to break into producing as well.
It’s frightening. I hope Diddy knows he has a stalker that may also be his unidentical doppelganger. But, until Wentz starts making people walk to Brooklyn to get him cheesecake, I don’t think he will have to worry.
Other music celebrities have branched out to new industries in the pursuit of the dollar. 50 Cent’s new book just came out and Carrie Underwood actually released an album. Apparently, musicians can’t get enough of the green.
I can’t see Wentz’s clothing venture lasting very long. The stores will close, and he’ll move his goods to department stores. When that doesn’t work, he’ll set up his wares next to the Amanda Bynes collection at Steve and Barry’s.
I feel the same towards the man as well. In a twist fit for a teen movie, I could see Wentz and the Fall Out Boys falling apart and into oblivion in
a climactic Senior Prom debacle. The moral will be that musicians should be musicians, capitalists should be capitalists, and great American authors should never be made into T-shirts.

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