inconspicuous consumption

an article in the ny times discusses bulgari, luxury and the economy.  there is something about a brand that can scream security or luxury. many brands over the past few years have moved from their tried and true status into expansion lines  that somehow tried to grow, and in some cases diminish, their original brand value

speak to the common man who has a credit card at his disposal. worry not if he really represents your brand; take advantage of his aspirational credit line. and if he starts buying? make your original customer feel safe…take a climb up the ladder away from the common man. make them feel special.  how luxurious is burberry when we now have the prorsum line? coach used to be a “preppy” brand and it now speaks to a “hip” factor that one never would have thought.and the consumer they have courted will be the first to stop shopping; or be cut off from shopping. such is the result of tapping the trendy and of the moment.  certain brands have gone the other way – how is it that jcrew; one of the tried and trusted brands of the westport fantasy – jcrew is charging $2,000 for a coat? why did j crew feel the need to sell up? and is it selling OUT the brand? jcrew will always have a market; but i do wonder how many of those italian shearlings are selling.

if your brand is luxurious – shouldn’t you always be luxurious and be able to withstand a bump? rise to the very definition of luxury?  a material object, service, etc., conducive to sumptuous living, usually a delicacy, elegance, or refinement of living rather than a necessity

if your brand is tried and true and trusted – like a burberry – do you really need the prorsum line? only if you’ve courted the “wrong” consumer to your original brand and offended them.

somewhere along the line people thought that EVERYBODY should be buying luxury brands. and it’s just not true.

i think that many luxury brands have gotten greedy and brought their own standards down. and i think that many tried and true brands have stuck their ground. remained true to their integrity.

The LL Bean holiday commercials (using the music of one of my old favorites Fountains of Wayne) are making me feel like the most luxurious and safe gift i could want this christmas is a pair of shearling slippers. Comfy cozy that i can wear in front of a fireplace, with a dog at my feet, ensconced in my home safe from the literal and figurative cold.

bulgari. time to go back to your roots. luxury was never meant to be for all.

What’s Old Is New Again – Again

i’m having one of those moments where despite all the growth and technology and forward movement there are all these catch-phrases and keywords and scenarios that are really just “repeats” from various points in history. It felt overwhelming enough to comment on today. Do some people who worked for Wamu of Lehman feel this way? Are they home with their kids watching hearings?

Financial Hearings: I recall my first financial hearing memory as being 4 years old and watergate (which i can aptly name now but not then) was on our TV all day long. And it made my mother mad because the banks were closed and we couldn’t go buy groceries because she couldn’t get cash out.

Live Ads/Product Placement: The Jimmy Kimmel shows live ads, the bertoli woman hosting the “what’s cooking”inside scoop between shows on cbs,  the branded entertainment dilemma, the government trying to restrict and regulate product placement, that tv is tricking the consumer.  Can you say: mutual of Omaha’s Animal Kingdom? Can you say Quiz Show? Can you say Jack Benny?  (not that Jimmy is Jack Benny – but…wellllll)

Fashion: I’m sorry but no matter what anyone says about the election night fashion snafu – Michelle Obama’s style is so normally Jackie O – it’s like I’m watching film footage that’s just been colored in! Images are burned into our collective memory of Camelot and while digging deeper into the details it may not BE Camelot – but hell – from a fashion perspective it certainly looks like it!  The non-michelle factor: jumpsuits. i just don’t believe they can come back again.  Unless its in the spirit of Rosie the Riveter vs the 70s…and i hope they don’t!

Pirates. Pirates????  Really? As in like 1800? This is fascinating to me. I dug into it a little bit and did you know that apparently NATO can’t decide how to deal with the pirates as they aren’t sure they can bring them into military court without violating international law.  That the Royal Navy can’t capture them and hold them because there is a possibility that they could be violating the human rights – of the pirates! That there are over 200 people right now being held captive on various ships by Pirates and have been for over a year.  Would we let someone hold an airplane full of people hostage for this long? Pirates.  I’m just fascinated by this.  I wish the Pirates had cameras with them so they could film themselves taking over the ships…I just want to see what modern day pirate attack looks like? Is that morose? Grim?  If so my apologies but sometimes my curiosoty gets the better of me.

Depression, Hunkering Down: I remember my aunt telling me what it was like during the depression. that they cooked at home all the time, that everyone gathered and chipped in what they had.  that they would play games alot, cards….it almost made it sound romantic.  I do wonder how technology affects that part of this change.  People aren’t going out, aren’t spending money – will it somehow create more “family ties”? Or will everyone be sitting together on their individual laptops and devices and while everyone is together – that $40 a month spend to keep them connected to the outside…it will prevent the human connectedness part of people entertaining themselves with each other. Or maybe not.  But I am curious.  As always….curious.


i just needed to “type this down”…. 51% –

i just heard this quote on NPR and it made me freeze – midsentence…..

“the global economy has lost 51% of its entire value in one year”


and we were just used to these numbers around music sales!

and it’s making me wish my grandmothers were alive to talk to about their take on it….since they lived through the great depression…were young newlyweds trying to start their lives….

51 percent.