Skip to Main Content
What happened to

What happened to "Keeping It Real"?

Remember “keeping it real”?

Throughout my entire childhood and young adulthood, the primary objective was to “keep it real”.

Keep it 100. Keep it a buck. We had a hundred names for it.

In fact, my mom’s #1 piece of advice from day one - which I still hold near and dear to my heart - was “never do something that causes you to look over your shoulder”. In other words, always keep it real.

This concept permeated everything I did.

I couldn’t be the phony athlete who said he was the man, but couldn’t back it up. I needed to keep it real. So I locked myself in the gym for 5 years and became the realest point guard in all of Canada.

I couldn’t go to some “sports school” and get a fake education. I needed to keep it real. So I attended Columbia University in the Ivy league - where I expanded my mind and broadened my perspective through a grueling 4-year growing process.

I couldn’t be the phony designer who didn’t know how to make patterns and garments. I needed to keep it real. So I went to design school, apprenticed for a bespoke tailor for 5 years, and created an authentic American menswear brand.

These “big life decisions” came easily to me, because the guiding light was simple. Just keep it real.

Have a vision. Become the vision. Save the talk.

Man, those days were simple.

Over the past ~5 years, things have gotten very different.

We’ve lost all sense of what is real.

Everything is fake.

In some ways, we champion the fake.

That job title on instragram? It’s not real.

That cute face on TikTok? it’s not real.

The value of that NFT you just bought? It’s not real. (Don’t @ me).

That youtube basketball player who just made 4 highlights in a row? It’s not real. (feel free to @ me on this one).

Don’t even get me started on “digital fashion” or Zuckerbergland aka the “metaverse”.

The fake shit is killing our culture.

We are voluntarily atrophying aspects of human life that are essential to our species, our fulfillment and our happiness.

We already know that social media - aka the start of the digital/fake world - is hurting us mentally. Anxiety, depression, loneliness. We’ve proven this. We’ve felt this. But we seem to be doubling down.

Instead of encouraging people to “keep it real” - like we used to - we are literally encouraging people to spend more time in the manufactured world where they can escape being who they really are.

None of this is good for our minds, our planet, or our souls.

Seneca said “we suffer more in imagination than we do in reality”. And yet, we are increasingly living in an imaginary world. Worse yet, we are consciously expanding the imaginary world so we never have to leave it.

What’s the end game? What’s the best time I’m going to have in the digital world?

I’d say I’m having negative fun in there now.

This was not meant to be a “rant”, but perhaps a call to action. Or at least a call to thought.

Do something real.

When you wake up in the morning, have a coffee and listen to the birds chirping, rather than scrolling instagram.

When you get dressed, put on a natural fabric that was made properly and authentically.

When you want to chat with a friend, meet them for lunch.

Tell people who you really are (and who you want to be).

Tell people how you really feel.

We must connect again to real life, to physical experiences, to face-to-face conversations.

Life is a team sport, and you’re invited to play with us!!

Or risk losing yourself forever in the metaverse.

One thing is for sure; you won’t find me in there. When the headsets go on full-time, I will be a cowboy out in these real streets; surviving, drinking and dancing with all the real ones left.

And my outfits will be the realest.

Yours in style,

Dan Trepanier