LONDON — Olive green is the bravest color.
Tech billionaire Elon Musk is following Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s blueprint in one simple gesture: a military green cotton T-shirt.
Musk debuted his Zelensky Warrior look officially at the World Cup final at the Lusail Stadium in north Doha, Qatar, this past weekend.
The chief executive officer of Twitter is on a rehabilitation tour. His next step after the football game was to start a poll asking users of the social media platform “Should I step down as head of Twitter? I will abide by the results of this poll.”
The poll currently favors the exit of Musk with 57.5 percent voting yes.
Since the Russian invasion on Ukraine on Feb. 24, Zelensky has stripped off his politician uniform of sleek navy suits and dark jewel tone ties for utilitarian wardrobe of padded puffers; hooded fleece jackets; cargo pants, and Saucony dad trainers.
Zelensky’s new look has mass appeal with new disciples including the general public, world leaders and celebrities becoming disciples of his mission for peace for Ukraine.
The Ukrainian president has become an internet sex symbol — joining the ranks of Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau and former U.S. presidents John F. Kennedy and Barack Obama, who topped The Washington Post’s “The 44 sexiest presidents: A complete ranking” in 2014.
In March, a month after the February invasions, French President Emmanuel Macron, gearing up for the election polls again, shed his designer suits for the Zelensky costume in a dark khaki hoodie with a CPA 10 logo, a special unit within the French Air and Space Force. He wore indigo denim jeans with his hands on his hips as he candidly posed for his official photographer Soazig de la Moissonnière for a series of images to later be uploaded onto Instagram. His more casual image may have helped him to victory, even without the majority his party had in the past.
Presidents and prime ministers have never been on the casual side of fashion — their roles are to provide an egalitarian structure for their nations and the uniforms they wear to deliver those messages have to carry no distractions.
Rishi Sunak, the British prime minister who wears Prada, has practiced enough with sartorial storytelling in his former role as Chancellor of the Exchequer.
On Britain’s Budget Day in October 2021, Sunak prepared for the presentation of the results with a pre-photo opportunity that took place in the State Room at 11 Downing Street. He wore a gray crewneck sweater with white socks and Palm Angels slip-on sandals that retail for 95 pounds instead of his 450 pound Prada loafers.
In another organized photo shoot that same month, Sunak put on a 46 pound dark gray Everlane hoodie before unveiling a 500 million pound funding package to help furloughed workers in the U.K.
For Musk, the game is completely different because he’s already one of the world’s richest — if not the richest — men and an entrepreneur. He’s saving his reputation after a sequence of missteps in the public eye surrounding his actions at Twitter. He is also not particularly known for his fashion sense.
Musk has already done his part for Ukraine, making his Starlink satellite system available to the country for free to help it fight the war with Russia. While the Zelensky green cotton T-shirt might not be a new item in the multibillionaire’s wardrobe — at the end of the day, everyone owns a basic T-shirt — his outfit over the weekend appears to be a calculated statement.