It's been another weird week in retail. Balenciaga is back with a hotel key tag that costs more than a room at the Holiday Inn, a Walmart shopper was hailed as a hero for braving a rainstorm to return her cart and luxury retailers have officially jumped on board the reusable straw train.
This, and more, in this week's retail therapy.
Balenciaga locks out the middle class
While we hardly ever agree with Balenciaga's fashion decisions, they usually have some discernible purpose — one wears the Triple S Sneaker to look like an unfashionable dad, one wears the T-shirt shirt to look like a drunk college student stumbling home.
One uses the brand's most recent creation, the "Hotel Key Tag," to display an inordinate amount of wealth that makes spending $250 on a useless product seem justifiable, as the hotel key tag neither opens doors nor secures one a luxury suite at the Ritz Carlton. Predictably, the main feature seems to be the word "Balenciaga," which evidently makes up for what otherwise would just be an expensive piece of leather.
According to Highsnobiety, one of our primary sources for Balenciaga-related news, the overpriced accessory "pays homage to the luxury label's Saint Honoré boutique in Paris." That's at least more than we can say about the company's "Oversized Chimney Sweater," which is $1,150 worth of that hand-me-down sweater every 90s parent made their kids wear before they were conscious of the fashion choices being made for them.
But what do we know? Kids can spend their months' rent wherever they please, so long as they save some of their luxury budget for environmentally-conscious straws.
Did they copy this from @ArcticMonkeys ?— Jack Standen (@JStanden11) August 12, 2018
even by their standards this is a terribly blatant rip off— Аrchie (@AJS290100) August 13, 2018
Woman becomes 'Walmart Legend' for being a decent human
It's a testament to the state of the world we live in that all it takes is a consumer returning a shopper cart rather than leaving it in the middle of the street like the rest of those inconsiderate schmucks to warrant an award from a corporate entity.
And yet, Sue Johnson didn't return just any cart. She returned a Walmart shopping cart, in a calm manner, during the middle of a howling storm in West Virginia, according to WHAS11. For that alone, she deserves our praise. But "praise" isn't Walmart's style.
We're talking about the retailer who let Mason Ramsey yodel in its stores and then, when he went viral, held him a concert. Walmart does nothing in moderation. And so, predictably, Sue not only received a golden shopping cart naming her a "Walmart Legend," but also a year of online grocery pickup.
This moment of feel-good consumerism is matched only by a girl who recently bought herself $400 worth of toys and was then convinced by her mom to donate them to a children's hospital.
Sue Johnson braved a torrential storm last week to return one of our carts—in our book, that makes her a #WalmartLegend! ???? For her effort, we’re awarding Sue with a year’s supply of Grocery Pickup so she never has to push a cart through a storm again! ???? pic.twitter.com/lC4ZMLljji— Walmart (@Walmart) August 10, 2018
In FL people are too lazy to return carts in perfect weather conditions.— curtis (@c4greene) August 11, 2018
$300 straws suck
Like many other sectors, the luxury market tracks closely with whatever customers care about at a given time, and then it pretends to also care about those issues in order to make more sales.
Which brings us to today's product: $325 sterling silver straws. There are many positive things we could say about the reusable straw movement. It saves plastic, it means fewer ocean creatures have to put up with our litter and it's pretty easy to find different variations. But all we have to say when luxury brands like Miansai try and take over that movement is: Tiffany tried it first, and we weren't crazy about it then either.
According to Women's Wear Daily, though, Tiffany was not just selling a $250 straw to make money. Rather, "As plastic waste continues to pose a serious threat to our oceans, we're proud to offer these enduring and finely crafted precious metal straws as an ocean-friendly alternative for sipping in style," the company's chief sustainability officer told the publication.
Because how else would luxury brands show their support for environmental causes except for producing their own version and charging exponentially more for it?
Supreme makes newspapers cool again
In an unsurprising turn of events, the New York Post ran an issue with just the Supreme logo on the front page and fans of the luxury street label immediately bought every copy and started reselling them online for several times their value.
According to the Independent, people were spending up to $20 for a paper that usually sells for $1. All things considered, it could be much, much worse. But it does beg the usual questions: For example, what do you do with a collectible newspaper? Why do people like Supreme this much? Is everyone still talking about the brick incident?
It also gives much more legitimacy to fans of cult classics like Donnie Darko and Pulp Fiction — so maybe they go to midnight screenings and maybe they recite every line while they're at it, but at least they aren't out there collecting 50 of the same paper just to make a profit off of other fans.
Then again, being willing to pay $20 for a newspaper is its own type of madness.
Supreme x NY POST for sale full paper $15 each. DM ASAP. pic.twitter.com/7F3jJ8RD2W— S.S. (@SSBK1881) August 13, 2018
hello, someone buy a supreme paper from me— verycoolLauf (@tweetlauf) August 14, 2018
will ship wherever and in any qty. even just one.
Thank you pic.twitter.com/XGUvlid3SY
Feel like giving back, hows a supreme news paper sound? ????— Andy???? (@Justcastillo_) August 16, 2018