Can cool exist in a vacuum? Maybe. Does cool need community? Probably.
If a person lived in Nowheresville, U.S.A., they could still be rad and own things considered to be universally cool. And, if nobody ever saw this person, they could still be cool—but to whom? They would think themselves to be “normal” and others wouldn’t label them as anything so it’d be moot.
Now, let’s say this small community of people living in Nowheresville, U.S.A. makes their clothes, and they’re stylish. They also make hand-crafted, swanky decor fitting of their desirable little homes. Next thing you know, some publication finds out, arranges a photoshoot, and overnight half the country is super into making axes if only to adorn a wall. Why? Because this righteous, little community decided that handmade axes are badass.
Strands of cool within a community can spread like a plague into an unvaccinated population. Then, before you know it, all hell breaks loose, and everyone’s scratching that itch via Amazon.