Monday, November 9, 2009

Today's true confessions: brand slutting

We were at a L'Oréal warehouse sale in Montreal this past weekend when it hit me... again.  (It's hit me before when a confluence of specific shopping conditions occurred.) I'm a brand name slut. I didn't buy anything at this warehouse sale. That in itself is practically a sin. I wear makeup maybe twice a year so it wasn't entirely unreasonable to not buy any at this sale. Except lip gloss. I wear lip gloss almost every day. I briefly scanned the heavily discounted lip-primping products but then promptly turned my attention elsewhere. Even if I did want lip gloss, it would have to be M·A·C lip gloss. That's all I wear.

Then there were the shampoos and conditioners being sold by the box load. My boyfriend asked me if we should take advantage of the bargain basement pricing. My response? They don't have "our kind" here. "Our kind" smells like coconut, like a beach holiday in a bottle. I don't know if any of these smell like that. No, we will have to pay full price and stick to "our kind".

I am a marketer's dream. My yoga gear is now exclusively Lululemon. If I'm shopping at Winners, I'll scour the aisles for clothing and accessories with a brand name logo that's clearly visible, 'cause I can get them for half the price. I go really ape shit if I find brand name clothing at Value Village or some other thrift store. Then I can get the stuff for 5-6 bucks. It's almost as good as a brick of brie cheese to a former dairy addict who was forced to change her ways due to allergies. But I digress.

Back in the day, I used to think I was all anti-establishment. I even submitted an article to Adbusters on the very subject of branding and how TV sells us the image of a brand, and then we want it. Who ever heard of Manolo Blahnik shoes until Sex and the City came along? You know it's true. I still want a pair of Manolo Mary Janes. And if I ever find them, I will buy them. Even if the cost equates with one month's mortgage payment. I just HAD to have a photo taken of me in front of the Madison Ave. Jimmy Choo store in NYC, and a few years later, with an actual Jimmy Choo shoe in Las Vegas. I am a shameless brand slut.

Of course, every brand whore has a deep, dark retail secret. I bought a pair of generic track pants for 10 bucks at Wal-Mart, and I LOVE THEM. This concludes today's True Confessions. Now go forth, and shop. 

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