Tuesday, 5 March 2013

The Vagrancy of Brand Snobbery

Things often come in threes and my recent experience of brand snobbery was no exception. I have long argued that people can only buy what they can afford and if clothes are cheap and people buy them that is their choice. The issue of how they are produced and the cost in terms of pay and the environment are difficult concepts for many people to understand.

The recent horse meat scandal in the UK focused people on the matter of cheap meat and the consequences of it. I have long held the view that I would rather go without something than buy it cheaply. I do have the advantage of a family who had a small holding and also I have a good grasp of what foods to eat. I am good at running the household budget and cooking. Every week I produce a meal planner and build what I buy around it. My book Girlynomics is a testament to living within your means based on your personal income. However I am not a proponent of austerity measures currently the vogue of Government spending, it is a fundamental flaw in how economics is talked about to think the GDP of an economy is something akin to a household budget.

Personal debt is an issue to be concerned with if you are the person in debt or wish to reduce it. Then my book is extremely useful. Being concerned with health and wealth is a preoccupation of many of us but of late I have noticed that being concerned with or conducting ones life in a particular way seems to give many the licence to be judgmental and snobby.

I really hope that Girlynomics can educate many people on the matter of budgeting and learning to live within their means. Part of the success of this is not looking at what others have or envying others for having more than oneself. This is a horrendous consequence of current day neo liberalism and capitalism. More is more in terms of status and standing.

My point is if you can only afford to buy clothing from Primark or H&M at low end price points then that is what you have to do. You may question quantity over quality you may want to think about second hand clothes in charity shops - there are lots of options to consider but ultimately it is your choice to do as you want. Don't be influenced by the worship of certain brands or designers to make you feel inferior. You can only afford what you can afford. Your worth is not apportioned to what you have in material terms. On this matter I am not a label snob.

Imagine my surprise when in my day job as a writer delivering fashion copy for a national magazine I encountered brand snobbery. I had selected a dress for readers as an option to dress up or down. The point was to buy one dress for the spring summer season and work it. I have selected items from this brand before for my blog and other magazines plus online sites I write for. I have access to a wide bank of retail images but for this brand it is a a direct request. I duly requested the image and after a right old few emails of explaining why I wanted this image and who for I was refused on the grounds 'this is not a publication we have worked with before.' Oh lordy! I swiftly sent an email asking was this brand snobbery and why this publication posed an issue so I could explain to the deputy editor. Guess what no response has been forthcoming.

People this is not a brand who can afford to take this route. It sells its clothes via ASOS as well as in stores and its own stores. Actually lets get real here anyone can buy their clothes! If you have money you can purchase an item from them. The magazine in question sells well and you can buy it anywhere. The people who read it are from varying backgrounds and disposable income and guess what they buy things.

I cannot begin to tell you how much I had to rein myself in from all out twitter abuse of this brand. The CEO is a person from an ordinary background who worked her way up from the shop floor so to speak. All I can say is they can whistle because I will never use them again in publications they don't have an issue with, will not use them for all the other outlets they have enjoyed publicity from and most certainly won't be buying off them again. The refusal of an image saved me £250 that I was about to spend on 2 dresses.

And if that wasn't enough twitter was rife with FROW dissing - when will people get the FROW these days is part of the show. The pantomime of the catwalks weeks. Once the showing of collections moved from being an industry based information point for buyers and customers to a media circus then quite frankly anything goes. Criticising a design house because Kim Kardashian was a FROW person for their collection is utterly pointless. Who cares who is seated in the FROW. It is a matter of personal taste who one likes or doesn't. It reminds me of Tom Ford getting hot under the collar because Victoria Beckham was wearing Gucci. 'Stop giving her clothes' he shouted at the PR. Who nicely retorted 'I don't, she buys them.'

Buy what you want, like who you want and wear what you want and say no to brand snobbery because it is as vagrant as a tramp.

This dress may not be for sale to you or me !
image: ASOS


  1. WOw.... instead of being flattered, they reacted like that ?
    What a bunch of #?¡1.
    I agree with you, you buy what you can afford.
    Like my grandmother says: if your pocket has afford beer, do not buy wine.

  2. Who is the dress by? I can't be arsed to look it up! Anyway I love that quote about Tom Ford as much as I love him, he should have realised the influence VB had even back then, I mean who wanted a biker jacket till she and David were seen in matching ones, I bought one on the back of it and that was late 90's! Its just like WAGS, you want a Kardashian on your FROW because that is where the money is, simples!

    1. Exactly! Tom Ford is Tom Ford and that was funny as a fashion flunk moment but being a UK high st chain only you cannot afford to do fashion/brand snobbery. I won't promote/buy or suggest their items for a long time now and I have people who rely on me to say what to wear! Although I am going to go in and try on lots of clothes and NOT BUY A SINGLE ONE - it will make me feel better and then I can whistle again xx

  3. In the current climate you would think a company would embrace any opportunity at some good publicity. It would be interesting to know if the company's CEO knew or agreed with their PR policy. xx

    1. I agree seems silly given it was a recommend dress for a fashion question page - why control who prints pictures when in reality you sell to anyone x


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