Elon Musk Makes Some Historic Announcements in an Awful T-Shirt

Getty Images / ATTILA KISBENEDEK / AFP

Electric car magnate and (sometimes) Kanye friend Elon Musk appeared yesterday to celebrate Tesla’s Battery Day, the response of the company to the Apple Case. The Keynote, hosted by Drew Baglino, Musk and Tesla SVP of Powertrain and Engineering, explained how the brand ‘s latest cathodes would strike distinctly (without the use of cobalt extracted through human rights atrocities), revealed company aspirations for a $25,000 vehicle, and teased a glitzy $139,000 Model S Plaid.

The event had the added advantage of being held in front of an extremely surreal shareholder gathering, seated in a crowd of parked Teslas that honked instead of cheers (for social distancing reasons). (It is worth looking for a Google picture if you want a taste of what Coachella 2021 is going to look like.)

But from its beginning, one dark and inevitable mystery hung over the event: what are those awful shirts that Musk and Baglino are wearing?

The matching black tees in question is a far cry from the Issey Miyake tops that Steve Jobs famously wore at his big tech announcements, for those who did not encounter them first hand. In fact, the shirts (below) probably had a number of design defects that, if they had been cars, would have initiated a recall. To name just a few: 1) The vaguely “mathy” graphic looked like something built by your weird acquaintance from college who is way into the Darren Aronofsky movie Pi, and 2) A broad, upper-chest graphic is perhaps the most unflattering kind of graphic on any figure, as it draws attention to the most elongated and uncomfortable sections of a shirt, and 3) No person above 40 should be caught outdoors in any kind of graphic tee, particularly one with north of a billion in their bank account.

Musk took a digression in his speech to describe how the shirts were a “very esoteric” illustration of the breakthrough “tabless” battery structure being heralded in their announcement, to add to the disaster by drawing even more attention to it. And while the shirt is not yet on the Tesla merchant site, a (highly recommended) review of its bid shows that the design of the Battery Day shares a separate “aging Matrix fan” vibe with other Tesla shirts, such as the Cybertruck Bulletproof Tee.

And the Tesla Logo Hat in black is obviously the pick of the litter for those searching for high-style stan cobalt-free car batteries.

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