Hello-Hello! Happy Summertime everyone!
We jump back into the daily drill taking a quick glance at the Business of Preppy as we refer to it here at the Prepatorium. Most true-blue preps are comfortable in their own skin, returning to the brands they were raised with again and again, while occasionally adding a new contributor to their personal style mix. The overwhelming majority of classic ‘preppy brands’ have always provided outstanding value in exchange for one’s investment, be it a suit from Brooks Brothers or a belt from LL Bean.
The business of marketing to preps alongside ‘faux preps’ (or those aspiring to same) is particularly daunting during These Challenging Times. Many of us marked the loss of classic stationer Mrs. John L. Strong with sadness last week. For those unfamiliar with the brand, this description in the NY Times story suffices:
“Mrs. John L. Strong was the stationer of choice for well-heeled brides and socialites. They were in good company.
Other customers included the Duke and Duchess of Windsor (the Duchess had her crest engraved in royal blue), Pat Nixon and Mamie Eisenhower, Oprah Winfrey, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, and Vogue’s editor, Anna Wintour.”
Below, a photo from last winter’s Forbes story on the company and its CEO, Nanette Brown:
Sniff, sniff. (Psst, does anyone have a tissue?)
“The Hamptons wants you to perceive it as conforming to the spirit of these hard times and not to caricature it as the flashy, traffic-choked, over-the-top playground it has increasingly become.”
“Raw glitz is out, confirmed Valerie Smith, owner of the Monogram Shop on Newtown Lane here, where napkins imprinted with “Reduced Circumstances” are selling well. “I didn’t order the $2,500 Italian backgammon board this year, which I sold three of the summer before last,” she said.”
And then we have news that Frette has opened an online outlet. (Gasp. The horror!)
The Italian purveyor of luxury linens is doing the ‘outlet store’ online only; it opened May 15 and closes at 6pm EDT June 15, so shop early, shop often, but shop soon if so inclined.
Marketing in this day and age also involves using all available tools, something that has challenged preppish retailer J. Crew. While the issue seems to be significantly reduced, Crew’s inability to manage basics at their online store is well-documented, approaching infamy in some annals of marketing nightmares.
Now the company’s blogging policy is under the microscope by the folks over at Media Bistro, although the story indicates the primary concern for J. Crew policymakers is likely micro-blogging site Twitter. However, as the story notes:
“If J.Crew’s official Twitter efforts are an indication, they have a lot of work to do to shake out their social voice. McAuliffe’s email signature finishes with @JCrew_Insider which stands at 299 followers, 1 following, and 7 updates at the time of this post.”
As of this writing that number is 334. The last @JCrew_Insider Twitter post is dated more than a month ago, April 21st, mentioning the retailer’s Malibu store opening. If tweeting store openings is a priority, at least one mention of the company’s Hamptons locations should be made.
(In the interest of full disclosure, the Princess is on Twitter and loves it, as are many of our fabulous blogging friends.)
The second item may be familiar to readers, it was featured in Vogue‘s June issue, the Last Look page.
Yes, silly season is still with us. The Fendi bicycle is available in two versions, one selling for $9500 (removable fur saddlebags and other accoutrements) while the budget version (hee-hee) is merely $5900. The lower-priced model does include Fendi’s Selleria leather accessories, a leather GPS navigation holder, key & bike chain cover. (In all candor, we do this second entry rather tongue-in-cheek, as there simply isn’t lots of logoing going on; it was all about the flow of words, the perfect segue, in a manner of speaking. Heh-heh.)
But we have good news: a new entry to the luggage market will not be triggering a case of logophobia for almost any of our tastefully-inclined readers. Okay, for our clue, it’s time for a show of hands: how many were raised toting about Hartmann bags?
Aw, you guessed already! The collaboration between Brooks Brothers and Hartmann luggage quietly debuted last week:
The official launch is slated for this week, but if shopping now, there is special introductory pricing.
Well dollfaces, it’s time for today’s quiz: what classic brands do you swear by? What new discoveries have you made? Any major disappointments along the way? Do tell, we’re dying to know.