“Rachel Cusk and Zadie Smith have become, in effect, literary brands — once their names are removed from the context of a book’s cover and placed on a hat or a tote bag.” Terry Nguyen, New York Times.
The merch machine refuses to die. In fact, I would argue it’s only just getting started. The New York Times recently published this article on literary merch, explaining the relatively new popularity of #litcore caps (and totes and tees) that show allegiance to revered writers while telegraphing the wearer’s (perceived) intellectual superiority. The Guardian calls this “consuming culture as a performative act”, while comedian Dan Rosen simply calls it “liberal cringe” (ouch #guilty).
It’s also rampant in media, with mainstream and niche publications going all out on taste signallers. (more…)
“Every six months, when the season was changing, I took the train from my little hometown to Barcelona and spent a whole afternoon going from Armani to Versace to Donna Karan, all the fashion luxury stores, collecting that season’s paper footprint. I was 13 or 14 years old and carried around a backpack full of catalogues. As for the brands we didn’t have in Barcelona, such as Yohji Yamamoto, I would flick through magazines and go to the gutter, the brand credits: usually on the very last pages, I would discover the telephone number of this or that store. I would ring from the house telephone to Paris or Milan – God knows in what language, some kind of English I hope – and I would request these catalogues. Even though I was a child, they would send them to me.” (more…)
“Silvia is really funny because she loves techno, she’s a really chic woman, and she’s like, ‘ooh, put some techno on.’ There’s a Jeff Mills mix that we listen to quite a lot.” Kim Jones on Silvia Venturini Fendi, Faith Fanzine(more…)