A rose by any other name...

sometimes a purchase is just a purchase, and sometimes it's about bringing home a new member to join the family. browsing for a fall hat, i came upon this cute little wool cloche. i immediately liked the shape, it was exactly what i was looking for, but i hesitated and wanted to know more about the label/designer. [SCHA] is the label, artist ewa kulasek is the designer. an artist! i was intrigued and inched closer to making the purchase. but i still wanted to know more about the background of the hat and the label, i wanted to see if it was connected to a larger picture that i found appealing. i googled (naturally) and found the label's site, where i was assured by the following verse-like prose that the hat was associated with lofty design ideals, was the product of lofty design ideals, and therefore my own lofty design ideals would remain intact and even be reinforced by the acquisition of this new item:

What is important about my hats:

they are about form,
they are about colour,
they are about structure,

they are not so much about decoration,

they are about beauty,
they are about simplicity,
they are about reduction,
they are about perfection,
they are to play with.

Most of my hats have many faces.
It depends on the way you wear them.
It depends on the way you combine them.

Ewa Kulasek

wonderful, perfect. i was flattered, i was wooed, i was assured. bought the hat, love the hat. is it a weakness or just understandable that i am interested in the whole package? i can say that it adds depth to the item and elevates it if i can understand the item's history (in terms of its inception, not in terms of previous owners. this hat is new.). but a whole lot of it is just simple marketing. i love good marketing. i have purchased hair conditioners truly because the copywriting said that i should leave the stuff in the bottle on my hair for 5 minutes or more "to melt into the hair." if i'm in the market for a hair conditioner, it's for dry hair, and if something is going to melt into my dry hair, that sounds about as thirst-quenching as anything out there. and if it says it will melt, (in my sucker of a mind) it's just that much more likely to actually do it than a bottle of stuff that does not mention melting. i'm sold.

here are 2 near-identical looks. on the left is brazilian label layana thomaz (au06) and on the right is chloe (ss06). technically one is a dress and one is a coat, but other than that, they are remarkably similar. yet presumably they will never compete for a customer because each label (hopefully) has its own audience and loyal following. i return to see the new runway shows of designers i have enjoyed previously, designers i have bonded with for one reason or another, before i go exploring new, unfamiliar ones. (being me, i do still go explore though.)

are you loyal to designers who you identify with?
do you know or care to know anything more about a garment than how it looks on?
are you invested in the aura around a piece?
when it comes down to choosing, what tips the scale for you?


Anonymous said...

1. Totally designer loyal based on 2. I care a lot about the designer's vision and cohesiveness. And just like you I like to investigate the back stories. Like, when I found out Dries Van Noten is an avid flower fan and that informs his work I was sold! 3. which yes, invests me in the aura of a piece...in his case, Belgian aesthetic. I'm also thinking of my custom made stuff from the fabulous local artisans around here, realizing I love that direct connection with the creator of a garment but 4. Since my choosing is already within the context of 1, 2 and 3...the scale tipping becomes about my preferences at this point. I already know I love the designer and the work...so within that...what works for me, what fits, what is "me", how do I best "muse" the body of work.

dorothy said...

Wow, great questions! I truly believe I'm a loyal consumer, in that I tend to stick with something that works (in the case of clothes - fit, color, texture, vision). I do care about the craftsmanship of a piece and the company's philosophy behind their products - therefore I suspect I take a much longer time than the average person does to make my purchases. Because I do care so much about what I invest in fashion-wise, I make research a priority. And, during the sometime occasion when I need to make a quick buy and don't have the time to "research," I rely on the tried-and-true brands I've already tested in the past.

Carlene said...

I like it that you researched the hat's label and found out about the designer and her vision. I don't buy much any more, but when I do I hope to invest my purchase with that kind of care.

As far as the copywriting thing goes, why not reward a good copywriter with a purchase (as long as it's just hair product, what have you got to lose?). I'm the same way about beautiful packaging. I think, well, someone took the time to design beautiful packaging, and whether I'm a sucker or not, it's still beautiful and that care is sometimes rewarded with a purchase.

(crappy packaging design or poor copywriting can also be punished with a nonpurchase...hee)

Iheartfashion said...

I'm a sucker for good packaging or copywriting...many a box of pasta or bag of coffee has been purchased solely for this reason.
I also love to know the backstory about a product. I bought a pair of Trovata chinos, despite needing another pair of chinos like a hole in the head, just because there was an entire story printed on the inside pocket, a letter from a "fake" explorer about an adventure.
I also love Proenza Schouler clothes and I suspect it has at least a little bit to do with Jack and Lazaro's personal charm.

editor said...

carlene - it's true that if you do look for all that stuff, take the time, it does slow you down (in a good way, financially-speaking anyways).
you know, i never thought of it as rewarding good work with a purchase, but obviously if they create something appealing enough that i want to take it home, that's a job well-done for them.

iheartfashion - i fell hard for a jar of honey once - such a gorgeous container. i picked it up, it was $17 for a pretty small jar. i put it back down again. i might revisit it though and give that bottle-designer a little ...reward.

kunsthaus said...

I am really loyal to designers/brand I like too. If I identify with their vision, with their style ethic I'm sold. Most of the time I read/watch interviews about/with the designers and look what kind of people they use in their marketing and how they present their clothes.
Presentation is very important for, as shallow as that sounds, but when I went to Argentina last year I bought tea for my Mama just because the packaking was so beautiful/creative (my Mama is the same way about stuff).
I still care about how the garment looks on me which sometimes can drive me quite mad because even though I am slim I have larger breasts than what most of the designers design for. And to be honest once or twice I probably bought a t-shirt even though it didn't fit me that well, still okay, just not good. I still try to "work" those t-shirts and wear them like this and like that, simply because I am so fascinated by their aura, how they look when their on the hanger and what they feel like against my skin.