Chanel Long Necklace, Fall/Winter 2010/11

This week over at Human Events I'm writing about the future of advertising... 

"We Americans have long been passionate about our purchases, but we now blur the line between owning and being (just try asking your friends whether they're a Mac or a PC). With the new identity shopping, the monologue form of advertising has ended; ads are now a conversation between the company and the acquirer. Gone are the days when we purchased items simply because they were appealing, useful, or well-made..."

A fake copy of the Chanel Long Necklace.

Our "wardrobes these days are fabric billboards. Our jeans have leather name patches, our shoes have logo-imprinted soles, and our buttons have carefully etched designer names so tiny that attempting to read them can provoke a sexual harassment suit. Gone are the days when companies paid big bucks to paint "See Rock City" or "Burma Shave" on farmers' barns. Nowadays, we are the ones who pay bale-sized amounts for the privilege of wearing branded togs."

An inexpensive imitation at Forever 21.

But what happens when everything is branded? When all is logo-ed and labeled? Even non-luxury products are competing to win customer loyalty for their $20 and $30 creations. These days, coming out of a strip mall with any unbranded product is almost a victory. At the same time, brands have become a short-hand for taste. It's as if we no longer need to be able to discern quality, or create a unique style: just buy a famous brand.

Images, Chanel, Forever21, and a forger.


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