Friday, August 31, 2007

Fashion Outrage II

My mom used to say that she wasn't going to wear anybody's name embossed on her ass, ever. At the time, she was referring to being seen with a Goyish-Jewish name such as Calvin Klein across her derriere. To her it probably sounded like "Matthew Goldfarb", it just didn't make any sense. To her credit, names in French or Italian or British didn't sway her either.
It was the beginning of the label fad in the seventies and there was no way I could convince her to spring for any garment with a name visibly on the outside, no matter how socially important it was for me as a teenager. She had a fearsome aversion to logos and brand names, yet she was a woman of style. At the time, I loathed that attitude but now I see how right she was. Logos, no matter how expensive, are vulgar. The more logos you count on a person, the tackier they are.
Luxury brands which used to stand for elegance are now connected to vulgarity.
Allow me to be a snob for a moment, but where is the exclusivity if virtually any plebeian can stroll around with a fake Louis Vuitton or insert name of brand here bag.
And as you can find their reasonable facsimiles in the alleys in Chinatown, it seems to me that the whole idea of exclusive luxury is subverted. One may think it is a noble democratizing thing to afford a fake so that we can all can parade it with our crocs (the con of the century, 30 bucks for plastic clogs that probably cost 25 cents to manufacture), but in reality, people who buy counterfeit luxury schmattes are like people who buy cocaine. They are buying evil products from very evil people. I don't care whether the big fashion houses lose a single penny. I don't feel sorry for them. But as this piece in the Times points out, the counterfeit industry is sinister and exploitative, and totally unnecessary. Nobody is going to die of nakedness if they don't have the latest stupid fake bag.

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