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Taavo Somer, Protohipster

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Taavo Somer, architect, designer, egomaniac, is so hip that he's not hip that he is hip that he's not hip: "Years ago, for instance, he started turning old T-shirts inside out and writing phrases on them, weird little expressions like my girlfriend's out of town, or I've got coke left let's go back to my place, which Somer, who is from rural Pennsylvania, once described as being inspired by how “disposable” everyone seemed to be in the city. Whenever he went outside wearing one of the shirts, he would be approached by people asking where they could buy one, and soon they were selling briskly at Barneys New York for $88. That was cool for a while. And then it wasn't. 'At the time, I was like one of maybe six T-shirt lines,' says Somer. 'But then there were like 400 T-shirt lines. It just went bananas, and I was like, Fuck this, I'm out.'"