Popculling: Fashion Saboteurs Inc

Recently it has come to my attention via a news piece that the cast of “Jersey Shore” (a show espousing the rich cultural milieu of the Italian-American) has been asked by Abercrombie & Fitch (famous for selling clothes by putting out catalogs with nobody wearing clothes) to stop wearing their line, as it is hurting the A&F brand. The only other time I remember something like this happening is when a managing director of Cristal supposedly said he wished rappers would stop drinking his overpriced champagne.

Entitled Jackass Stereotype Wannabes OR Soldiers of Fortune?

Now if it was just that a clothing company thought that douchebags wearing their clothes would hurt their long-term growth it would be one thing, but hasn’t Abercrombie and Fitch always been a brand that has marketed itself to douchebags? Could it be that Jersey Shore is even too toxic for the company that developed padded bikinis for 8 year-olds? Or is there something way more awesome and espionage-like going on behind this story? (hint: yes, probably).

Maria was telling me about another story whereby Italian-American rights activist, noted public speaker, and Jersey Shore star “Snooki” was receiving free Gucci and Luis Vuitton handbags to wear out in public and on red carpets and the such. This is a common thing, pretty much any company with a brand of goods will try to get them into the hands of famous people. If celebrities are using it then it may end up pictured in magazines like US Weekly or People. Even better – that person may end up on Conan and start talking about how much they love your clothes, or candy, or videogame…

That’s not what was happening here.  Apparently the Jersey Shore cast is considered famous in the bad way.  They aren’t famous because the general public wants to be like them, they are famous because the American public mostly doesn’t want to be like them.  Furthermore, a lot of the people who watch the show don’t do so because they like these people but because they enjoy watching them get drunk and fall down stairs. In many ways they are perceived as sub-human and people want to see them fail and self-destruct.  So that’s really the only type of fame you wouldn’t want your product tied to.

So the scuttlebutt on those free handbags for Snooki? Supposedly the Gucci bags weren’t sent by Gucci, and the Luis Vuitton ones weren’t sent by Luis Vuitton.  Gucci sent Luis Vuitton bags to her to make them look bad and Luis Vuitton returned the compliment. I’m told Coach (the handbag designer, not the delightful television show starring Craig T. Nelson) got in on the action, too.

How awesome is that? By all accounts they are toxic – even A&F doesn’t want to get involved with them. But they still get free stuff because they are toxic enough to hurt your competition.

I’m 100% interested now in the “Success by Faliure” business model. Not that I want to try it (I don’t go drinking at clubs as I prefer to drink alone, at home, in a closet where no one can watch me cry… OH and I like my dignity), but I want to see how it works.  I am fascinated by their place in the international fashion Cold War.

Now other things- I have been playing through quite a bit of Bayonetta lately.  I got the game when it came out last year but wasn’t really in any condition to play it. Now I am a little bit better at it and trying again.  This game is amazing!  The set piece levels are ridiculous, the dialogue is pretty funny and irreverent, the main character is insane, and aesthetically it is pretty inventive.  Please tell me a sequel is in the works. I don’t know how well it did when it came out but I think it is really kick ass and I would love to play more.

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4 Responses to Popculling: Fashion Saboteurs Inc

  1. That’s some good behind-the-scenes drama and your sentence about Coach is Towa Tei dee-lightful.

  2. Regarding the Cristal statement (from Wikipedia but sourced from The Economist) –

    “In an interview with The Economist in 2006, Louis Roederer managing director Frederic Rouzaud said he viewed the attention from rappers with “curiosity and serenity.” Asked if he thought the association would harm the brand, he replied, “that’s a good question, but what can we do? We can’t forbid people from buying it. I’m sure Dom Pérignon or Krug would be delighted to have their business.”[7] Subsequent interpretations and reactions to these statements resulted in the brand’s loss of position in hip-hop culture.”

  3. Bryan says:

    Im not sure if Platinum games is on it with Anarchy Reigns coming out soon, but I dont think thats the end of Bayonetta.That game helped Sega out big time. Another good Blog my man.

  4. This is really the third post, of yours I really checked out.
    However , I actually love this particular 1, “Popculling:
    Fashion Saboteurs Inc | Baron Barometer’s Blog” the very best. Cya -Belinda

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