Support Hyperallergic’s independent arts journalism.
Attention shoppers: are you tired of paparazzi following you around, taking bright flash pictures and selling them to tabloids? There’s now a wearable solution designed to give you the last laugh.
The Flashback Photobomber hoodie makes it impossible for anyone to snap your photo. It’s made from retroreflective fabric coated with tiny glass particles that bounce the camera’s light back to where it came from, making everything else in the pic but the hoodie look black. So instead of catching you all sweaty as you leave the gym as he hoped, the photographer will have nothing at all to show for his troubles.
“[The hoodie allows] people control of when they want to be photographed and how they want to be photographed,” inventor Chris Holmes said in a video about the product. Holmes came up with the idea while opening as a DJ for Paul McCartney. He was irritated by the way the photos people took of him always looked weird, since the camera flash made everything but his clothing dark. Then it hit him that there might be a similar way to make paparazzi photos worthless and — ka-ching! — he partnered with Betabrand to realize the concept.
Ok, so the majority of people aren’t routinely chased around by crazy photographers seeing dollar signs. Nor do most of us have $228 to spend on a piece of fabric — besides, couldn’t you just buy a $5 reflective traffic vest instead? But we do know what it’s like to be constantly photographed in a more furtive, even creepier way. Cameras are everywhere—on our computers and phones, in our homes, at traffic lights and in grocery stores. What if we could figure out an equally simple way to hide from those, too?