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In Congress, Mark Zuckerberg and His Tech CEO Peers Perfect Billionaire Invisibility

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Two summers ago, when Mark Zuckerberg went to testify before Congress, many Americans saw the Facebook overlord in a suit for the first time. (Remember, even in The Social Network, he attended depositions in a hoodie and flip flops, while the fashion police, aka the Winklevoss twins, withered on the other side of the table in their Savile Row finest.) Zuckerberg’s suit, Washington Post fashion critic Robin Givhan noted at the time, was ill-fitting, with the jacket a little too large, the shirt collar too big, and the tie too loose—all evidence of the hoodie icon’s unfamiliarity with tailored clothing. (Or maybe it was carefully calculated slovenly-lite, meant to show he just isn’t comfortable playing the corporate honcho. Who’s to say whether Zuckerberg is capable of the three-dimensional chess that is fashion diplomacy.)

Image may contain Tie Accessories Accessory Coat Suit Clothing Overcoat Apparel Human Person and Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos testifies before a House Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law, July 29, 2020.Bloomberg / Getty Images

Zuckerberg looked much more ready to do business, if not to answer for his company’s shady practices, when he appeared before Congress on Wednesday along with Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai, and Apple CEO Tim Cook to discuss claims that they have engaged in anti-competitive conduct. In fact, for all the noise that the tech world has made with its ultra-casual uniform—fleece vests, T-shirts, hoodies, and other whocarescore basics—the four titans, some of the world’s wealthiest men (and in fact one, Bezos, who is the richest), were all just…wearing suits. They seemed to fit fine! (Of course, with Zoom framing being what it is, who knows whether they were wearing pants, though one imagines they might be necessary at least for psychological effect: “make sure to wear pants lol” one imagines a friend, or a robot butler, might have texted.) The only curious deviations were extreme spread collars on Bezos and Zuckerberg—the former, because he’s been boning up his fashion credentials lately, and the latter, because, well, once you’ve been literally dressed down by Robin Givhan, you tend to learn your lesson.

Tim Cook testifies before a House Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust Commercial and Administrative Law July 29 2020.
Tim Cook testifies before a House Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law, July 29, 2020.Graeme Jennings / Getty Images

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