Friday, October 17, 2008

why do you hate america's freedom? get out there and shop, or the terrorists win!

Gah, on the well-shod heels of Gwyneth Paltrow (whose shopping guides are so asinine), comes J.Crew, the latest contender for the economic turmoil insensitivity awards. The headline: J.Crew Gets Uppity. I kid you not:

“THE timing is very ironic, I know,” said Millard S. Drexler, known as Mickey, the chief executive of J. Crew, by way of introduction to the company’s newest store, which opened Friday on Madison Avenue at 79th Street. Mr. Drexler chose just about the worst week in financial memory to introduce a J. Crew collection priced in the stratosphere of Gucci and Prada.

Regardless of the market, J.Crew’s new designer collection — sold here and at — has raised eyebrows among analysts and competitors who wonder why on earth a company known for its preppy basics would put on such airs. Mr. Drexler said he believes in the product.

“In all of our stores in America, I felt we weren’t highlighting the clothes and accessories in the way I thought they should be,” he said. “And I felt that fashion was changing. The prices of designer clothes were getting to a point that was very unfriendly to a lot of people, and the ubiquity of designer clothes was making them less special. Fashion is the opposite of ubiquity.”

Too bad retailers are having a hard time getting customers to spend money. Sales are down at both high and low ends of the spectrum. All I'm buyin these days are food and books, and both on sale. The spaghetti and meatballs and tarte tatin I'm making tonight? Total of $10, including ingredients in stock.

If you must shop or buy something to support our economy, listen to Warren Buffett.