Ready-to-wear designers Shipley & Halmos used Rand’s work as a starting point for their Fall 2009 collection, even quoting a line from The Fountainhead in the invitation (“Life must be a straight line of motion from goal to further goal”). Sam Shipley relates the collection’s them to Objectivism’s “sense of empowerment and sense of purpose,” rather than its hard-nosed political interpretations.
Ralph Lauren, whose pinstriped power suits from the 1980s (below left) and current collection that resembles a wardrobe trailer for a film adaptation of Rand’s oeuvre. Lauren has been quoted as naming Ayn Rand as his favorite author, along with Papa Ernest Hemingway.
Interestingly, a host of Indian designers have avowed their admiration. The Daily Beast relays that “Ritu Beri told an Indian newspaper that she’d read The Fountainhead ‘almost 50 times’ and another, Krishnu Mehta, also counts the book as her favorite.” And in the July issue of American ELLE magazine, a staff member recommended the novella Anthem to readers: “It’s a short read,” she wrote, “perfect for an end-of-summer day at the beach exercising your free will.”
Author Jennifer Burns, author of Goddess of the Market: Ayn Rand and the American Right, explains in this Daily Show clip that Ayn Rand’s popularity is cyclical, correlating with “political cycles and ideological reformation.” Curiously, modern day conservatives don’t seem to mind – or even recognize – the novelist’s staunch Atheism. Maybe the Godless liberals can identify?
The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c Jennifer Burns www.thedailyshow.com Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor Ron Paul Interview
And of course, lets not forget the fits and starts plaguing the film adaptation of Atlas Shrugged. By the time the movie is actually released (it’s tentatively slated for 2011) the Ayn Rand Fan Club may or may not be in session, but it’s a safe bet that the costuming will be impeccable.
[Editor’s note: Kelsey Keith was a finalist in the Ayn Rand Institute’s 2001 Fountainhead Essay Contest. I entered in 1998 but did not place. We are both creeped out by how much we loved her work back in high school.]