More interested in his computer than fashion (understandably!) Jesse Eisenberg’s portrayal of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg shows like a previous post on Walter White of Breaking Bad that you don’t have to be draped in designer clothing to be noticed for your fashion choices.
Costume designer Jacqueline West has worked with director David Fincher many times, including winning awards for the costume in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button but when given the same role on The Social Network, Fincher told her “This is going to be easy for you because it’s just hoodies and flip-flops.”
During the film, Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield) has a disagreement with Zuckerberg on the future of Facebook asking when it will be finished, his reply “It won’t be finished. That’s the point. The way fashion’s never finished.” Saverin, staring at Zuckerberg slouched on the sofa wearing ugly fitting beige jeans and a dark loose-fitting hoodie replies, “You’re taking about fashion? Really, you?” which sums up how Zuckerberg is actually oblivious to fashion despite comparing Facebook to the revolution of fashion.
It’s clear throughout the film that Zuckerberg doesn’t believe in suitable footwear due to his love for his Adidas flip-flops which are most commonly known as Adidas slides. Whether it’s to class, to a meeting in the city or in a lawyer’s office his loyalty to his comfy beach-wear is apparent and makes me wonder whether Adidas was sponsoring the film.
The contrast between the co-founders, Saverin (Eduardo) and Zuckerberg is very interesting. Saverin being the professional, the one setting up the meetings and generally putting the word around about the social networking platform, whereas Zuckerberg is behind the scenes which is very clear in the scene pictured above – the suitor v.s. the sloucher. Zuckerberg frankly doesn’t give a s**t on how he is perceived and doesn’t feel obliged to dress up for potential investors, instead he dons one of many hooded sweatshirts while Saverin dresses to impress in a 3 piece suit.
Zuckerberg dresses quite young and as if his mum has purchased everything for him from the high-street due to the many obvious product placement moments throughout the film including Gap, The North Face, Nike and of course, Adidas. Despite the seemingly non-high maintenance persona Zuckerberg shows, the director is very specific about fabrics and colours therefore certain shades of colours needed to be found.
Justin Timberlake plays the role of Napster founder Sean Parker which means no baggy sweatshirts and sweat pants, just classic, fitting suits. To be true to the real life Sean Parker who had his suits custom-made to him by Girogio Armarni including his name printed in the inner lining, Jacqueline arranged costume fittings for JT at the Armarni store in Beverly Hills. The label on the inside of the suit jacket read “Giorgio Armarni for Sean Parker” which Timberlake has said changed the way he moved and talked while filming.
Despite the real-life Mark Zuckerberg (who has actually won the “worst dressed” award by GQ) not totally happy with the accuracy of the film’s plot, he has however said that the costume choices are identical to clothing he personally owns. Let’s just take a look at what he means …
There you have it, billionaire-geek-chic.