The Liberty of London line for Target has sent me over the edge. I've been brooding for a while about this, and I am just going to say what I think.
Exclusivity is a valuable Marketing tool. So the masses can't afford you? There are probably good reasons (and I might also add that if they really wanted you.... but that's going a bit too far).
Let's look further into the company. Their website proclaims that "Since 1875, Liberty has been synonymous with luxury and great design.... Liberty is not a name above the door, it’s Arthur Liberty’s legacy, which stands for integrity, value, quality and above all beautifully designed product."
Great. So now let's compare this legacy of integrity, value, quality, and beautiful designs with the Target product. It's certainly not luxurious--not with fabric content listed as primarily polyester. It will probably shrink and fall apart in the laundry. There goes quality. You may seem to be getting value with the affordable prices, but if the quality is not there, you aren't getting value either. And it's made in China, so who knows about the integrity behind it all. And yet it is all branded with the Liberty name.
I realize that most people cannot afford to purchase "real" Liberty of London products, but I'm not sure that it helps the company to try and change that. I think it is compromising their legacy and tainting their brand. When Liberty sells products through J.Crew, the prices are higher to accommodate the superior cotton and quality (plus the signature designs)--why lose that when you sell to Target?
I'm aware that there may be flaws in my logic, so if you have insight that you think I ought to hear, please email me! Just don't rant about how everyone deserves to have a piece from this fabulous design house. I'm not democratic when it comes to designer pieces and brand names.
And yes, I do realize that this makes me look like a complete snob. Damn principles. And no, I didn't approve of the Orla Kiely for Target line either.
I've grown kinda fond of this last piece of kids art that I did for 2010 Christmas. Isn't she sweet? Kids art is so different from any other style, and it's tricky. Good juvenile art is a huge need for the greeting card industry--especially if we are trying to stay away from licenses for cost purposes. I want to keep getting better and to develop my own style for it.... stay tuned!
I'll have an espresso so plush and bright that it tastes sweet on its own, please.
Yummmm. I think we should all take coffee more seriously.
I make a ritual out of mine. Each morning I heat filtered water to a boiling and then pour it over a (usually inaccurate) ratio of two Tablespoons per 6 oz of water in the french press. The Roasterie coffee bag says that using fewer grounds will result in an acidic, over-pulled flavor. Definitely don't want that. We're going for plush and bright here. Pause a moment; then stir it with an odd wooden chopstick until it froths lightly, and slowly press the strainer down over the loose grounds. I love how it is still a bit frothy on top when I pour it into my teacup.
A short list of things that concern me, and that I think should concern you too: 1. In a recent entry from the men at all plaidout, an interview with the Steven Grasse of Art in the Age*. Mr. Grasse has some eloquent words on the way we live and the idea behind his business (please excuse the explicatives): “There is an art to living. If you live in a McMansion and spend your days at a strip mall buying cheap shit from China, dude, you have lost your f*cking aura**.”
2. And a bit more: “The new luxury is knowing where the stuff comes from and knowing that the person who made it got paid,” Grasse says. “That is the new luxury. Not the fancy packaging, or the glam, but the ethics of it, the sustainability and goodness of it.”
3. The company that I work for is currently exploring the financial benefits of taking even more of our business overseas for production. How do I feel about this? See above two quotes. I recognize that we are talking about a luxury here - just knowing and choosing where our stuff comes from. But still. I'm not sure how I respond to this as an employee of this company and as someone who is hoping to live out her faith in a way that affects other lives positively. Also as an American who has a bit more national pride than she may be willing to admit.... especially after reading Friedman's Op Ed yesterday and feeling concerned once more about how we are neglecting the future with our concern for the immediate cost savings and getting back on our feet financially. Will my bonus this year cost my fellow American a job next year?
* His shop looks so cool. If you live in Philly, check it out for me, okay? **Aura. Ha! What does that even mean? I'm not sure, but I know that I kinda like it.