Taylor Lautner’s bare chest seems to have attracted the fashion industry, who are willing to cover it up with couture.
The New Moon werewolf is apparently set to become the new 17-year-old spokesperson of Giorgio Armani. According to InTouch, the Italian-inspired line is trying to sign Lautner up for a brand new advertisement campaign for fragrances along with the less-pricey line, A/X Armani Exchange. The site also states that this deal could mean a big paycheque for the young star.
“Do you know where I can get some Armani jeans?” asked a customer in his British accent, “and is there a place that has more expensive stores?”
“What didn’t you like about the jeans you tried on?” I replied. “You said they looked alright and they fit well.”
He shrugged and said, “I don’t like Gap jeans.”
I gave him subway directions to Yorkville, Toronto’s upscale shopping district. It’s equivalent to New York’s Fifth Avenue or Paris’ Champs Elysees where a pair of pants equals a down payment on a house.
When they left I whispered to a coworker, “I hope he gets snobbed to death.”
It’s odd how these people who feel above those who spent less than $100 on their outfit are in turn, looked down upon by the very same bargain hunters.
Whenever I walk through Yorkville I sometimes feel superior to these victims of marketing and avid readers of “Teen People.” I’ll think with a smirk on my face, “I know that these designer clothes are made in the same factory as my $40 jeans and I know better than to let Brad Pitt or Justin Timberlake dictate to me what to wear.”
But on a subconscious level I did once wonder what it’ll be like to wear a Lacoste polo or a pair of Seven jeans. Will people see the little crocodile logo and think that I appreciate the finer things in life? Will I be more attractive? Will I get more respect?
Yes the words, “What the hell is wrong with this guy?” is going through my mind too as I’m writing this but I’m sure at one time or another we’ve all wanted the brand name rather than the no name.
A few months ago I was ready to whip out $100 for a Fred Perry polo at Harry Rosen. Page 194 of the September 2004 issue of “Cargo” (a lesser version of “GQ”). The model, looking through the shelves of a library, is sporting a preppy, British student motif and by the looks of the women in the following pages, it’s not only his book that’s going to be checked out.
Anyways when I walked into Harry Rosen, I looked at the polo for a minute and then left the store sans Freddy Perry. Why? Aside from my sister’s voice in my head yelling, “Why the **** did you waste $100 on a ******* shirt?” there was something else that made the fashion spread evaporate from my thoughts.
From where I was standing I could see through the store window where a bunch of high school students were standing, surrounded with more shopping bags than the “Queer Eye” guys at a Cavalli outlet. On three of the boys, I could make out distinct Fred Perry logos.
They’re not hopping around London; they’re skipping school and hanging out at the mall. They’re not charming the bangers and mash out of women; they’re shopping with other guys. And they sure as hell aren’t gaining my respect.
Then it occurred to me. Does a real lad really give a damn about what brand his clothes are? Am I stupid enough to think that I’ll suddenly live the life in the magazine by wearing a stupid shirt? I was. Perhaps I should return to reality and stop trying to mimic a contrived lifestyle brought to you by a team of professional stylists and one hell of a Photoshop-per.
The words, “Why the hell do you want to look like a school kid from Britain? You’re from Toronto!” also occurred in my mind. I was doing the same thing that Ashlee Simpson was doing to the punk lifestyle: thinking that if you wear the clothes, you’re automatically living that lifestyle. You know something’s wrong when you can draw parallels to Ass, err, Ashlee.
I don’t solely blame this designer label-obsessed mentality on the fashion industry. Hell, if they want to price a t-shirt at $300 and bring back parachute pants go ahead. It doesn’t mean I have to comply with their fashion dos and don’ts. Rather I blame the na?ve individual (like my prior self) who imitates the store mannequins shirt by shirt, unable to differentiate themselves from the brand or realize that no one gives a crap about how much their outfit costs.
“Why would someone pay $100 for a t-shirt?” a friend once asked.
“So that they could say that they paid $100 for a t-shirt,” I replied.
Later that day I tossed that September 2004 issue of “Cargo” into the recycling bin and let out sigh of relief after saving $100. So what did I learn? In the end society is, and forever will be, shallow and materialistic so brands are here to stay. On the other hand, being loyal to designer brands will open the doors to being called a “tool” or a “brand whore.” Bottom line? Keep that $100 in your bank account but if you must insist on purchasing the occasional designer garment then do it. The keyword is “occasional” because no one likes to be called a whore.