Yesterday, electric car magnate and (sometimes) Kanye friend Elon Musk emerged to celebrate Tesla’s Battery Day, the company’s answer to an Apple Event. The Keynote — hosted by Musk and Tesla SVP of Powertrain and Engineering Drew Baglino — explained how the brand’s new cathodes are going to hit different (without the use of cobalt mined through human rights atrocities), announced company ambitions for a $25,000 car, and teased a glitzy $139,000 Model S Plaid.
The event had the added benefit of being hosted in front of an intensely surreal audience of shareholders, seated (for social distancing reasons) in a crowd of parked Teslas that honked in lieu of applause. (It’s worth Google image-searching this if you want a preview of what Coachella 2021 will look like.)
But one dark and unavoidable mystery hung over the event from its onset: What are those horrible shirts Musk and Baglino are wearing?
For those who didn’t experience them first hand, the matching black tees in question were a far cry from the Issey Miyake tops that Steve Jobs famously wore at his big tech announcements. In fact, the shirts (below) arguably had a number of design flaws that would have initiated a recall if they had been automobiles. To list just a couple: 1) The vaguely “mathy” graphic looked like something designed by your creepy college acquaintance who is way too into the Darren Aronofsky film Pi, 2) A wide, upper-chest graphic is perhaps the most unflattering type of graphic on any figure, since it draws attention to the stretchiest and most awkward parts of a shirt, and 3) No man above 40, especially one with north of a billion in their bank account, should be caught outdoors in any kind of graphic tee.
To add to the tragedy by drawing even more attention to it, Musk took a digression in his speech to explain how the shirts were a “very esoteric” representation of the breakthrough "tabless" battery structure being heralded in their announcement. And while the shirt is not yet on Tesla’s merch site, a (highly recommended) perusal of its offering reveals that the Battery Day design shares a distinct “aging Matrix fan” vibe with other Tesla shirts, such as the Cybertruck Bulletproof Tee.
And for those looking to stan cobalt-free car batteries in high style, the Tesla Logo Hat in black is clearly the pick of the litter.