Screencap via Youtube, ©2014 by HBO
Gavin owns the
Spyridon model from innovative Italian shoe manufacturer Vibram.
The sports shoes with five toes have a protective but soft rubber sole and were created to make walking in shoes feel like walking barefoot.
This is supposed to be healthy, because it strengthens the feet muscles and grounds the walker with his natural way of walking on mother earth.
Beside the technical feature, the important part here is that these Vibram barefoot trainers are a reference to tech billionaire and Google founder Sergey Brin and fit therefore also to Gavin’s pseudo spiritual role as the Hooli leader.
In fact, Gavin’s five finger flat rubber shoes symbolize that the high tech billionaire literally wants to stay with both feet on the ground in his hyper aloof Palo Alto lifestyle.
On an even deeper level, the high-tech shoe brand with a ‘back-to-the-roots’ image are a metaphor for the two sides of the life in Silicon Valley. Why?
Because Silicon Valley has its origins back in the 1960s but Silicon Valley as a label became really popular in the 1970s through many new-age loving, hippie-like and drug consuming developers and it’s now ruled by money and high-tech focused business people in suits and venture capitalists.
Therefore, the five-toe rubber shoes fit to the grown-up ex-hippie and now evil capitalist Gavin Belson, who calls his company Hooli – obviously derived from
holy) – has a spiritual New Age leader and stages himself in public as a high-tech and world-healing guru.
Picture via Complex, ©2014 by HBO
Sure, it’s not documented that costume designer, Daniel Orlandi, really had all these associations in mind or if it was just a product placement, but it sounds like a reasonable assumption.
Gavin Belson Wants to Stay Rooted in Silicon Valley
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