There are some items, clothing or accessories (or beauty products, for that matter) that become brand classics all on their own, for example Chanel’s iconic 2.55 chain handled quilted bag, the Hermes Kelly, the Cartier Tank and a number of other gorgeous, covetable items including even one of my favourites - Louis Vuitton’s Stephen Sprouse leopard print scarf. These have managed, for one reason or another to get into our psyche, become instantly recognisable and lusted after. Once owned they are treasured and in most cases they last for ever. And of course there are more.
Then there are the far more prosaic products, much less expensive and with a far shorter shelf life which still manage to hang around for a very long time. Such as the Juicy Couture Tracksuit. I know I’m hearing gasps of horror that I’ve mentioned a tracksuit on the same page as an Hermes Kelly but if you think about it, whereas it’s not surprising that a beautifully crafted, historic handbag should have such longevity, it is surprising that something as simple as a tracksuit should have achieved semi-cult status and is still going strong after sixteen years.
There are copies, of course, of all of the above, and I’ve been asking on Twitter recently about the importance of brands and labels to people, many of whom tell me that they don’t matter that much. I suspect they do, particularly if you can only afford one, or maybe two really beautiful things to highlight the basics. For those who can afford them all without a blink I wonder if they are so special.
Anyway, back to the Juicy Couture tracksuit, now available in loads of colours and copied everywhere. Does that little label inside make a difference? I don’t know. I’m definitely not a velour tracksuit kinda gal, but I suppose in taupe or anthracite it is quite cool, if you’re slim and can get away with that look, which I can’t (and know it, thank goodness).
It won’t take me out to lunch let alone dinner so my money’s going towards my next Diane von Furstenberg frock I’m afraid (and yes I am getting ready to duck as all those trackkie lovers out there start pelting me with stuff). I do like the brand………promise………in particular the robes and cute nightdresses but the tracksuits and I were just never meant to be friends, glamour-girl label or otherwise.
I had intended, of course, to link through to Chanel’s 2.55, the Hermes Kelly and Cartier Tank but after listening endlessly to Maria Callas singing Casta Diva on the Cartier Website, where you can only buy online in the US, and attempting to link to the Hermes and Chanel I have given up and am going over to www.webhints.co.uk to have a moan. Catch up with you soon. Incidentally the Callas is sublime – but if you want to hear the whole thing and see her live, rather than the snippet they play on the Cartier website, just click here.
Off to NYC in a week or so. Is it too early to pack?