Once an innovative fastening technology that made the “automatic, continuous clothing closure” possible, the zipper today is one of those peculiarly banal gadgets that are so deeply embedded in our quotidian life that we hardly notice or think twice about.
The very first attempt to employ zipper in clothing design is by the rubber company called B.F. Goodrich. It released a pair of rubber boots called “The Mystik” equipped with a zipper in stead of shoelaces in 1922. When sales lag, company president Bertram G. Work muses, “What we need is an action word, something that will dramatize the way the thing zips.” The boot was rebranded “The Zipper” , and since then the zipper as a fastening mechanism has dictated the way wearable things open and close. The biggest supplier of zippers in the world today is the Japanese manufacturer YKK, who is allegedly responsible for half of the zippers production around the globe, which is roughly 7 billions per year.
(Slow and Steady Wins the Race Zipper Shirt available online.)