Monday, April 6, 2009

drunk designers?

OK. Really? I'm all for designers and fashion houses branching out into new markets and categories. Kenneth Cole, originally just a shoe designer, does make some pretty amazing accessories, small leather goods, and even occasionally some ready-to-wear that's actually interesting. Giorgio Armani, cultural and fashion icon, now includes with his to-die-for clothing creations, an entire range of cosmetics, footwear, fragrances, and the most luxurious home goods.

But alcohol? Really? I was shopping recently (hard to imagine, I know!) and stumbled upon Ed Hardy's latest product category entry - "designer" spirits.

Where will it end? Ed Hardy toilet paper? Floor mats for your car? Pet bowls? Feather dusters?

At some point, when your "brand" is so completely saturated into a consumer's mind, at some point they will be turned off by the overawarenss of the name. After all, clients love exclusivity. There's a certain mystique that comes with owning something from a brand not available in all places. Think Dior. Hermes. Goyard. And even (sometimes) Chanel.

So next time you're out buying something from your favorite "designer", consider their impact on the industry. Are they overly accessible? If they are, maybe you should suggest uber-retailers like Wal-mart to start carrying your ranges. Because there's nothing exclusive about Wal-mart, either.

No comments: