Christopher Wylie had an outfit. His whistle was directed not at a government, but its nebulous digital equivalent; perhaps it took someone steeped in the intricacies of personal branding to jam up the algorithms that governed it. Or was this persona too crisp, a meme more than a movement’s spark? Most whistleblowers dress to deflect attention. Daniel Ellsberg, the military intelligence contractor whose leak of the Pentagon Papers helped end the Vietnam War, rubbed elbows with flower children in a suit and tie.
In 2011, a ‘Birkin’ bag, the iconic Hermès made-to-measure travelgood, sold for a record price of $US203,000 at Heritage, an auction house that specialises in luxury accessories. Taking advantage of this burgeoning market, Christies began selling luxury accessories, listing Birkin bags and other similar brands for hefty prices.