“They bled in velvet-tufted hotel suites and town-house living rooms. They bled in conference rooms at Condé Nast and Net-a-Porter. They bled at the bar of the now- defunct Cafe Clover in New York’s West Village neighborhood while the scents of lavender waffles and quinoa pancakes collided in the air for one of the brand’s earliest recorded press events, in 2016. I didn’t get to go, but my boss at the time did. She returned to the office a few fluid ounces lighter, painted with a newfound glow. Not the glow that could, in theory, be delivered by the blood’s own healing proteins when applied topically to the skin—her blood cream would arrive a week later—but the incandescence of somebody recently exposed to an intense source of light. She had met Barbara, and she had fallen in love. The doctor’s charisma had seared her to the bone.” (more…)
Reading about the ubiquity of the New Yorker tote recently got me thinking about the rise of media branded merch.
The New Yorker has just expanded its merch line, allowing its cultured readership to outwardly express their taste and identity. As traditional magazine sales and ad revenues decline, reinforcing the ‘brand’ is a commercial savvy move for media titles. In a timely plot twist, it also effectively lets the reader advertise the magazine, instead of the magazine selling advertising to its readers. “The New Yorker knows that it is now a brand, that it represents a cross-section of a very specific, cultured, informed, democratic public, who knows who they are (or aspires to be) and loves to show it off,” observes NSS Magazine.
In a similar vein, the New York Times has been enjoying its elevated style status, with its logo and ad campaigns being co-opted in recent years by the likes of Etudes and Sacai as part of official collaborations. It reminded me of my 20-something year-old New York Herald Tribune tee. A riff on the cinematic classic worn by Jean Seberg in A Bout de Souffle (top), the combo of gothic nameplate typography and trusted legacy journalism seem particularly resonant right now. (You can actually buy an official copy here, among a variety of NYT-branded fare.)
*As I’m wont to do, I was diverted down a Google tunnel while researching links and found this revealing article on the LRB from 2014. The business model is most fascinating!
WORDS: Disneyrollergirl / Navaz Batliwalla
IMAGES: To come, NSS, New York Times
NOTE: Most images are digitally enhanced. Some posts use affiliate links and PR samples. Please read my privacy and cookies policy here
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