WHAT IS HE THINKING?

Fashion is one of those things in life that I try to ignore, while knowing all the while that I can't. Fortunately I have a job where the only dress code is that I have to wear clothes. Actually that's not written anywhere, but there are laws. There are also societal norms and values that keep me from wearing a Native American headdress to work – or practically anywhere else for that matter. I did meet a college professor the other day that had a ring in his lip, one in his eyebrow, and bleached highlights in his hair, but he teaches art, so I guess it's okay. It wouldn't do for teaching accounting, but I'm not sure why.

Normally I don't think about fashion, but I do subscribe to The New Yorker magazine where high fashion ads from Louis Vuitton jump out at me like June bugs smashing on my windshield. What is Louis Vuitton thinking? Do people look at these ads and say, "I want to have that alien look?”  I can't believe people do, but then there are people with chains from their eyebrow to their lip, so I guess it takes all kinds. There must be women out there who want to look like aliens or the ads wouldn't keep running. Fortunately I've not encountered them. If I did, I'm not sure what I'd say. Perhaps… "Holy shit, what happened to you?” Or perhaps not.

Advertising in general escapes my logical analysis. On numerous occasions I've watched a TV commercial and, after it was over, asked the people I'm with, "What was being advertised in that commercial?” More often than not, they don't know, even though they all watched it. A good friend of mine who worked for an advertising firm in Manhattan explained to me that the target market for most commercials and ads isn't intelligent, discriminating people. That must mean that ad agencies feel that the bulk of consumers are stupid. But you don't see Louis Vuitton ads in Field and Stream, so I think his target market is people who want to look like aliens rather than people who have seen them.

Now that I've pissed off the Field and Stream readership, perhaps I can redeem myself by saying that the only good commercials I've seen are for beer. I love beer commercials and have a collection of them. I don't drink beer, but most of my friends do. Louis Vuitton should take a hint from the beer ads and have real, down-to-earth folks in his ads. But then Louis wouldn't sell any of his luggage. Who wants a $1000 handbag that won't hold much beer?