Everything about the Lockheed Martin streetwear is confusing

We live in the darkest timeline.
By Elizabeth de Luna  on 
Four designs from Lockheed Martin Apparel, all streetwear mostly in whites, grays, and blacks.
Lockheed Martin Apparel sells streetwear featuring the defense contractor's name and logo. Credit: Mashable composite; Lockheed Martin Apparel

The website looks like something that a generative AI system dreamed up: Lockheed Martin Apparel, where you can get streetwear-style jeans and oversized tees bearing the logo of a defense contractor accused of aiding war criminals.

But the clothes are real, at least in South Korea. The streetwear line has stirred up interest on X after a user posted a screenshot from the company's site.

We reached out to Lockheed Martin to clarify its relationship with the apparel brand. The company responded that it would look into the request but did not provide any more information by the time of publication.

However, it's possible that the global security and aerospace company licensed its name, logo, and likeness to a South Korean company that is now using it to sell clothes.

This practice is fairly common in South Korea, where Jeep, National Geographic, and even defunct airline Pan Am have been reimagined as streetwear brands with their own brick-and-mortar stores. In the States, we might find this concept a bit odd — I certainly do. But these borrowed-brand clothing lines are extremely popular in South Korea in a way that seems indiscriminate of their origin. Even CNN has gotten the streetwear treatment.

I originally assumed that South Koreans might be unaware of the work and reputation of the Lockheed Martin brand, but it turns out that the company is a major player in the country's defense market. Perhaps, then, the allure for South Koreans is wearing a foreign language and bold graphics on their person, in the same way that some Americans get tattoos of Chinese symbols even though they don't speak Mandarin.

Site listings for PanAm streetwear, including sweatshirts and cardigans.
Designs from Pan Am South Korea. Credit: Pan Am South Korea

Then there is the question of why Lockheed Martin would allow its name and logo to be licensed in this way. The company has an official store for employees, where they can get its logo printed on a North Face fleece or on Carhartt overalls.

But the South Korean brand, ironically, does a better job of promoting the company. One shirt currently for sale on the streetwear site includes in its design Lockheed Martin's values: "Do What’s Right, Respect Others, and Perform with Excellence." It then lists the address of the company's Bethesda, Maryland headquarters.

Good to know that the military-industrial complex propaganda machine is alive and well.

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Elizabeth de Luna

Elizabeth is a culture reporter at Mashable covering digital culture, fandom communities, and how the internet makes us feel. Before joining Mashable, she spent six years in tech, doing everything from running a wifi hardware beta program to analyzing YouTube content trends like K-pop, ASMR, gaming, and beauty. You can find more of her work for outlets like The GuardianTeen Vogue, and MTV News right here

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