don’t shop where the rest buy

Camilla Skovgaard and Jeffrey Campbell meet Scorett, your most avid fan if “imitation is a form of flattery”. (I actually didn’t have the heart to put up the Gareth Pugh originals.)

This post has been sitting in my draft box for a week, and at some point I lost the will to write about it, because it’s ugly. Really, the originals and the copy are both too ugly to be noted in any context; not to mention that Scorett is copying a copy in the Jeffrey Campbells. But I’m putting aside the merit of the design of that which is being copied (because it’s not the point), because if it’s being copied, someone thinks it’s merited. I was telling my friend about an exchange I had at Hester Flea and the topic of “design” came up. This morning at the Flea, I peeped a ring on the finger of a booth owner, complimented accordingly, and asked if it’s the Vivienne Westwood armor ring, after a brief moment of embarrassment, she said, oh, no, I’m actually selling them for $50 in silver or gold. Say what?

So my first impression of the vendors at the flea when I visited the first weekend it opened was, saturation of jewelry “designers” who sell corny chains attached to trinkets/pendants that have been done again and again. THIS IS NOT DESIGNING. Since when did designer become a titled that’s as easily acquired as a checkbook and a naive entitlement/delusional confidence in one’s creativity. OH, MY BUST. I had the same thought when I saw the Scorett shoes, how does it feel to live a lie? Do you believe you’re selling a genuine product? There are so many lines who have never had an original piece in their entire repertoire, a quick 5 minute tour of the flea saw “references” to Westwood, Fallon, Bijules, Pamela Love, etc. So it would seem that your modus operandi is just copying other people’s work, does acquiring a brand and putting up an illusion of individuality entitle you to charge more for imitation than, say, H&M? So, ok, I’ve resigned myself to the inevitable saturation of runway trends on High Street, because, if mindless consumers want it, I can’t expect retailers to supply anything else. And as someone who wants more, I should be able to seek out better options. However, if we are now accepting derivatives as original designs, what will we be left with? We cannot commend up and coming designers simply because they work hard. Some people need not encouragement, but someone to tell them no – whether it’s because the design is bad or because it’s derivative. This culture of credit for simply trying, while lovely in formative years, does not foster competence and humility. Where do we draw the line? And this is not limited to little local “designers” that sell at hipster flea markets, 50% of NYFW designers fall under this category. I believe this can also be applied to the journalism vs blog issue, for example, recycling a magazine story with badly written commentary? Not original content, you’re not a writer. Please walk yourself to a learning annex.

PS. The Flea is not all bad, the food stands alone are worth the trip. I made some new friends and had delicious noodles at the Baohausnyc stand whose blog I was seriously crushing on, and even did booth bitch duty for a bit. In return, I got noodles and a tshirt, I’m like almost a real blogger with all this swag? Don’t worry, I promise not to wax over the new Topshop collection. TEEEHEE. Also recommend Pain d’Avignon (top 3 baguette in New York, might be #1), Macaron Parlour (surprisingly! not the bacon one, fine line between innovation and kitschy gimmick), and this Kimchi guy whose name I forget.

PPS. I might set up a stand at the flea soonish with some friends. We will have Jordans, vintage shoes, jewelry, accessories, the gamut. I think it might be kind of sweet, manning a booth is kinda fun and I think taking money and making change from a fanny pack is in my heritage. WHAT? Show you how to do this son.

PPPS. I am not a hater; I just think people can and should do better.


One response to “don’t shop where the rest buy

  1. hardliquorsoftholes August 7, 2010 at 2:53 PM

    agreed. the city is flooded with jewelry designers who couldn’t come up with an original idea if it was inscribed in a gold casted shark’s tooth.

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