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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Steve Jobs Explains Why He Always Wore a Black Turtleneck

Posted By on Wed, Oct 12, 2011 at 8:25 AM

A trendsetter in so many ways
  • A trendsetter in so many ways

In the week since Steve Jobs' died, he's been remembered as many things -- an insanely great capitalist, a total prick, and the man who reinvented the world. But among the many things that made Jobs remarkable, was his ability to wear the same outfit every single day -- his signature black turtleneck, blue jeans, and gray New Balance sneakers.

In two weeks, Simon & Schuster will release Walter Isaacson's biography Steve Jobs, which draws on years of conversations and interviews with the Apple CEO. It will shed light on the many mysteries that made Jobs the most recognizable CEO in America, among them the tech mogul's geeky style.

Here's an excerpt from the section where Jobs talks about his fashion sense.

On a trip to Japan in the early 1980s, Jobs asked Sony's chairman Akio Morita why everyone in the company's factories wore uniforms. He told Jobs that after the war, no one had any clothes, and companies like Sony had to give their workers something to wear each day. Over the years, the uniforms developed their own signatures styles, especially at companies such as Sony, and it became a way of bonding workers to the company. "I decided that I wanted that type of bonding for Apple," Jobs recalls.

So Jobs had a vest designed specifically for Apple employees to wear as a uniform. But that didn't go over well with the nerd core. "Oh man, did I get booed off the stage. Everybody hated the idea," Jobs recalls.

But Jobs still liked the thought of having a uniform for himself, something that was both convenient and identifiable. He was drawn to the classic black turtleneck, so he had some 100 made for himself.

"I have enough to last for the rest of my life," Jobs says in the book.

The biography will be released Oct. 24

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About The Author

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert was the Online News Editor for SF Weekly from 2010 to 2015. She's a Texas native and has a closet full of cowboy boots to prove it.


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