Recently “Suits” was Netflix’s third most-viewed show, and re-watching the first season is like opening a time capsule of how we used to work and dress.
Although “Suits” premiered in 2010, it is more of a tribute to the “Masters of the Universe” world of finance in the 80s and 90s. Even the name “Suits” is an anachronism, for Hickey Freeman, the premier American brand, had been losing sales since before Reagan. There are loving shots of high-rise office buildings, plenty of support staff to fill the space, and barely any mention of tech.
Both “Suits” and those financial districts were all about power and prestige, and those days are gone, for our cultural values and workstyles have changed. Officials in Seattle and San Francisco hope that pop-ups and street parties will bring these places back, but that’s not going to be enough. We need to reinvent these places, not just from the ground floor up but from the building facade into the street to make them both “local” and habitable around the clock. That will involve write-downs that banks and REITs may not be willing to face for five years or more.