Kathleen Hanna Thought Marc Jacobs’s Grunge Collection Was ‘Cool and Fucked-Up at the Same Time’

Kathleen Hanna in 1994.
Kathleen Hanna in 1994. Photo: Ebet Roberts / Getty Images

I was actually really pissed when I saw it. I was really young and idealistic and it was an official sign that they were commercializing the scene that I was in. But, then I thought it was interesting at the same time. I really had mixed feelings about it. Like grunge is where I lived, which was the Pacific Northwest, and it wasn’t really a real “thing.” We weren’t walking around calling it grunge. It was just a made-up media conception and a fantasy. None of these bands thought they had anything in common with each other. No one was trying to make a fashion statement, it was like … Hey, this is just what we wear. Then it was like … Oh, plaid, and these kinds of skirts and tops. And my friends were into the feminist thing, so we weren’t dressing like that. We were trying to take over the idea of creating the childhood we never had, so we dressed like weird fucked-up kids.

So then we were like … “So now some weird highfalutin fashion designer in New York is calling this grunge and you’re going to go in and take over and say this is our fashion and then you’re going to play ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ during your show?” But then I heard he got a marching band to do it and I thought that was totally smart and funny. I thought it was cool and fucked-up at the same time, so I guess I’ll never get a free Marc Jacobs outfit. I shop at Target anyway.

Kathleen Hanna Was ‘Pissed’ at High-end Grunge