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Nvidia’s Jensen Huang Is Transforming AI, One Leather Jacket at a Time

A new tech titan has arrived in town and is preparing to enter the temple. how do we know?

Well, Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang owns the company: He co-founded Nvidia in 1993, and the market cap is now about $950 billion, although that was briefly in late May. $1 trillion clubThat put it in the same league as Apple, Alphabet and Amazon.

He has the product: a data processing chip that is critical to AI development, which is the lifeblood of ChatGPT and Bard, which is the current paradigm shift.

And he has the look: a black leather jacket that he wears every time he’s in the public eye, often with a black T-shirt and black jeans.

Mr. Huang wore a black leather jacket when he was on cover of time as one of its men of the year in 2021. A black leather jacket during his keynote speeches at several GTC developer conferences since 2018. To deliver the 2023 World ITF keynote and the 2023 Computex 2023 keynote. even he recognized himself back in a Reddit AMA In 2016, as “the boy in the leather jacket”.

Sometimes his leather jackets have collars, sometimes they look like motorcycle jackets; Sometimes lots of zips are involved, sometimes not. But the jacket is always black. He’s been wearing them, a spokesman said, “for at least 20 years.” The special thing is that he always looks the same.

AI doesn’t have a popular recognizable face yet. ChatGPT and Bard are anonymous minds. This is part of what makes AI so terrifying – its disjointed nature. Sam Altman, chief executive of OpenAI, is ubiquitous but looks normal. Mr. Huang and his leather jacket appear to step neatly into that gap.

The jacket is an item that has become an indicator of a person, but also the big jump that represents that person. And that affiliation puts Mr. Huang in the same club as Steve “Black Turtleneck” Jobs, Mark “Gray T-Shirt” Zuckerberg and Jeff “Pitt BullBezos as a CEO who understands that the difference between a company that is a world-changing success and a company that is a world-changing success that becomes part of pop culture can be the image of its figurehead. One that is just enough of a caricature to work its way into the public imagination and become the embodiment of a movement.

“It makes a person instantly recognizable, like a cartoon character or a superhero,” said Stanford Law School professor Richard Thompson Ford, author of “Dress Codes: How the Laws of Fashion Made History.” It signals a “down-to-earth rejection of fashionable artifice while still harnessing the power of fashion”.

Not that the people involved would put it exactly like that.

When asked why they wear the same thing day in and day out, the most powerful people willing to address this question say it saves time, allowing them to think Whatever the important issue at hand, its not about what they are going to wear for the day.

What is this Barack Obamawho contested wearing only gray or navy blue suits as president That One Unfortunate Tan Suit Momentsaid as done mr zuckerberg, According to Mr. Huang’s spokesman, “He has previously stated that he dresses in the same style of black pants and shirt because it presents a reduced set of decisions to be made each day.” (Mr. Huang himself was “taking a break from speaking to the media,” the spokesman said.)

This is undoubtedly true. Wearing the same uniform every day communicates discipline (no flight of fashion here), focus and, Mr. Ford said, “credibility” — all qualities that are desirable in any chief executive.

But to think that’s all it’s about is to miss part of the picture. Anyone with aspirations of global domination, especially in an age of visual communication, would know enough about history to know this.

After all, wearing the same thing every day is a shortcut to fabricating a Pavlovian identity in the hive mind – not just in Silicon Valley but in almost any field. For example, when you think of magazine editors, who comes to your mind? Anna Wintour, with her severe bob and dark glasses. When do you think of the Supreme Court? Black robes (and maybe Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s lace collar).

History is littered with figures who understood the power of a coherent visual signature—so much so that they often had clothing styles named after them. Nelson Mandela did madiba shirt, Narendra Modi, modi kurta, Jawaharlal Nehru, nehru jacket, It becomes impossible to forget these associations, embedded deep in our cerebral cortex, shaping perceptions and thoughts. Look elizabeth holmes and her black turtleWhich, with its direct link to Steve Jobs, shows the genius in the watching world, whether we are aware of it or not.

And when it comes to cultural associations, there are few garments as rich with adjectives as the black leather jacket. This is an effectively groomed personality – as Mr. Huang clearly knows.

According to a supervisorWhen the Nvidia chief was walking around Computex in Taipei in his leather jacket last month, he was asked how he could handle the heat. (The temperature It was between 79 and 90 degrees on the day of his keynote.)

“I’m always calm,” replied Mr. Huang.

The “black leather jacket” evokes 1950s Hollywood with a sense of freedom, the open road, rebellion and sex appeal, said Joseph Rosenfeld, an image consultant and stylist in Silicon Valley.

This is the uniform of Marlon Brando in “The Wild One” and James Dean in “Rebel Without a Cause”. of the Beats and the Beatles; Elvis and David Bowie (in their Berlin period). It’s the opposite of what we think of a tech nerd, which is why the fact Mr. Huang chose this as his uniform was very smart. It stands out. This causes a revaluation.

Especially a 60-year-old man like Mr. Huang. Imagine “if Huang had worn a suit or a polo shirt and khakis,” Mr. Ford said. “He’ll look like a boring, traditional middle manager.” Instead, he said, the leather jacket “signals that he is a creative type and a high-status person who can wear whatever he wants.”

When I asked ChatGPT, “Why does Jensen Huang wear the same black leather jacket all the time?” it answered With four options, including the suggestion that “Leather jackets, especially black ones, are often associated with a sense of confidence, authority, and professionalism.” Motorcycles too, which are all about speed.

The jacket also alludes to the founding myth of Silicon Valley and Mr. Jobs, the man who was the antithesis of the men in gray suits at IBM, and “almost a spiritual leader to some,” as Mr. Ford put it. Someone, he said, “which represents a kind of golden age, when everything seemed possible and people still thought technology would be a force for good in the world” – a particularly salient reminder that Time when public conversation focuses in part on the potential danger of AI

And Jackett’s strategy is on the rise. According to Mr. Rosenfeld, “Customers have asked me about leather jackets, wanting to know if they could wear it.” (He said they told him Mr. Huang already had the look and advised he develop another signature.)

For those who want to know what brand Mr. Huang wears, his spokesman said that he did not know. unlike Mr. Jobs, who had several versions of Issey Miyake Turtleneck (or Mr. Zuckerberg, who wears a Brunello Cucinelli T-shirt), Mr. Huang is seen changing his jacket. But Mr. Rosenfeld speculated that “they don’t look to be Tom Ford’s level, which we know he can afford well. At least some that I’ve seen look theory,

For those who want to get this look, however, at least seven different e-tailers currently offer the “Jensen Huang Leather Jacket” at $109 (price).jacket pop) to $149.99 (tthat genuine leather,

To put it in context, superstar jacket sells two versions of “jensen huang leather jacket,” along with a “Fast & Furious 10 Vin Diesel Jacket,” a “Snoop Dogg Leather Jacket,” and an “Indiana Jones Leather Jacket.”

But Mr. Huang is the only CEO with a jacket named after him.

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