How do you dilute a luxury brand? It’s easy: associate it with the “wrong” demographic.
Burberry’s iconic tartan, for example, became inextricable from Chav culture; Louis Vuitton’s monogram a growth on the orange arms of track suited sorority girls; and Chanel’s linking Cs on venal Ivy League princesses.
The labels have caught onto this and started doing something really, really hilarious: apparently they’re sending high-profile undesirable types the competitors’ bags. In other words, Goyard will be sending Snooki a Gucci bag.
This is all according to Simon Doonan, so I may be misinterpreting, because it takes me half an hour to parse any of his ornately slang-ridden essays into North American English (something about pronouncing Hermes “Herpes”?).
Doonan is convinced he’s also been a victim of (what he calls) ‘preemptive product placement’:
For a number of years now, I have been a loyal devotee of the Gucci shoe. They are comfy and classy, and the commitment to prominent logo placement appeals to my unapologetic nouveau riche sensibility[.] Wherever possible, I purchase these sneakers and slip-ons at Barneys, enjoying as I do after 25 years of loyal service an anesthetizing discount. However, being small of foot, I am often forced to patronize a Gucci flagship in order to acquire the requisite size. Earlier this year, following a series of full-retail purchases at the Fifth Avenue store, I took it into my head to request, by repeated email, a “press discount.” These attempts have been totally unsuccessful: No discount has been forthcoming. When Snooki PEPP rumors began to fly, it suddenly occurred to me that I was in the same boat as the reality mega-star: The Gucci folks would clearly prefer to discourage my loyalty rather than foster it. Snooki and I are the Typhoid Marys of the luxury branding world.
Now. This only makes me want to go on a reality television show and parlay my already-abrasive personality into an Hermes Kelly bag that Valextra sends me. #schemes