Do you hear that? It's the sound of a dying institution gasping for air.
Here is something that literally no one has ever said, ever: "I wish the United States Post Office sold a line of branded clothing!" No one has ever said it because no one has ever wished it, and the reasons why should be fairly obvious. The last generation of stamp collectors/mail enthusiasts died during the Bubonic Plague roughly 900 years ago, and they were really the only possible target audience for such a thing. Nevertheless, the USPS line of clothing - officially known as "Rain Heat & Snow" - is real, and it is coming.
Just in case you aren't up to speed on the Postal Service, it is the government agency charged with delivering "mail"—or what the kids these days usually refer to as "snail mail," or "worthless garbage." It is also the same institution that recently announced plans to suspend Saturday mail delivery because it is hemorrhaging money. On account of being utterly obsolete.
Now, to be fair, this undertaking will reportedly come at no cost to the USPS; they are merely licensing their brand to Wahconah Group, Inc., a Cleveland-based apparel company, which will in turn share a small percentage of the profits with the Post Office.
Cleveland! The birthplace of all the most profitable fashion trends!
Rain Heat & Snow will debut a line of men's gear in the spring of 2014, and will follow that up with a women's line. According to CNN, "the line will feature all-season, all-weather gear with the latest technology such as sweat-wicking fabric and jackets that can sync up with MP3 players, and also includes coats, head gear and footwear."
The apparel line's name and concept are a nod to the Post Office's weather-centric credo ("Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds"). And honestly it makes sense, because if the United States Post Office is famous for anything, it's the ability to integrate cutting-edge technology into boring, old, outdated stuff. Plus, anyone with half a brain knows that postal workers are the most stylish of all the disgruntled government employees. It's not like anyone would take fashion advice from those hacks over at the CIA.
Of course, truth be told, it sounds like this shit will have all the allure of a piece of junk mail—except that unlike junk mail, it won't make any money for the Post Office. We're all doomed. Let's just pray that someone invents an easier, more sustainable alternative to sending paper messages before it's too late.
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