Thursday, June 7, 2007

SJP's Bitten: I'm Not Biting

For the most part, I tend to ignore celebrity clothing lines. As all of the celebrities who have their own clothing brands (such as Jennifer Lopez, Jessica Simpson, Gwen Stefani, Kate Moss, etc.) have not gone to fashion design school or had any kind of training, it's obvious they don't really have the neccessary skills to create and design a fashion line. Duh! They're not actually "designing" anything. The typical celebrity clothing brand is based on the star's personal style; which is the result of a well-paid stylist putting together outfits for said star from established or up-and-coming "real" designers. What is particularly interesting or fashion-forward about that?

That said, the advertising campaign and media blitz for Sarah Jessica Parker's Bitten line has annoyed me enough to force a comment. The manifesto for the line is:
"It is every woman's inalienable right to have a pulled-together stylish, confident wardrobe with money left over to live."

And as you can see, Sarah wears a t-shirt that says "Fashion is not a luxury" in the ads for the line.

I'm astonished at how pretentious and insulting the whole marketing campaign behind this line is and that so many people are falling for it hook, line and sinker. Why does a clothing line need a "manifesto"? Am I supposed to believe this line is part of some greater political movement and not an opportunity for Sarah Jessica Parker and the Steve & Barry store chain (where the line is sold) to make money off Sarah's post-Sex and the City-style icon status?

And how kind of her to make lower-priced clothing for the masses. "Fashion is not a luxury?" You don't say? And here I was thinking women of limited means should just walk around naked. If you have ever walked into an H&M, Gap or Old Navy, I am sure you are well aware that fashion can be affordable and leave you with enough money to pay your bills. Even designer clothing can be affordable if you shop at thrift stores or discounters such as Century 21, TJ Maxx and Marshall's. Fashionable clothing at an accessible price is not a new concept and shouldn't be treated as if it's some kind of revelation particularly when it's being marketed by a millionaire who is best known for playing a character that had $40,000 in shoes.

I don't know anything about the quality of the line itself and I have no intention to go to a Steve & Barry's and check it out. From what's been shown in the media, I don't see much about Bitten that makes it any different from other lower-priced lines.

Bitten appears to be just another uninspiring, celeb-persona driven clothing line in an already oversaturated market. Check out a really good article about celebrity clothing lines in today's New York Times here.

Picture source