It's been another weird week in retail. Balenciaga tried to convince everyone it was charitable by donating a measly amount of profits off one of its fanny packs, the Official Donald J. Trump Store started selling "Stand Up for America" jerseys and Fendi accidentally made a $990 scarf that looks a whole lot more like a female body part.
This, and more, in this week's retail therapy.
Balenciaga as a charity: donates 10%, ups prices
Nothing takes Balenciaga's product line from bad to worse quite like creating a World Food Programme fanny pack, increasing the price by hundreds of dollars and then giving 10% of the inflated price to the charity.
And yet. To the surprise of no one, Balenciaga — which already had a neon fanny pack selling for $650 — created another 90s mom-style product with the same unremarkably similar features, slapped the WFP symbol on it and upped the price by $200. At first, one is tempted to think, "Well, it's for charity, so maybe the extra cost is actually just covering the donation — that wouldn't be so bad."
Except it is that bad because giving 10% to charity translates to $85 — $85 out of $850. For all you math whizzes out there, that means Balenciaga is making $765 per fanny pack, which is $115 more than they were making off of their old fanny pack line. And here's the rub: the $850 fanny pack looks a lot more like the low-cost gift a charity gives you for volunteering for a whole day of work.
Here's a thought: Maybe we should encourage consumers to volunteer at a charity instead of pretending to care about the World Food Programme by buying an $850 fanny pack that serves no purpose other than to display their insane amount of wealth. Bueller?
Virtue signalling on the catwalk and cocktail circuit darling— ... (@notesfrompequod) October 8, 2018
Donald Trump wants you on America's (football) team
Political campaigns trying to be fashionable is arguably the worst kind of fashion crime. So naturally the "Official Donald J. Trump Store," which sells every kind of MAGA clothing imaginable despite the fact that President Trump has probably never been associated with the word "fashionable" in his life, is trying to expand its fashion reach with a football jersey.
Teen Vogue had the misfortune of reporting this news, pointing out that rather than supporting Donald Trump, the jerseys seem to be more concerned with not supporting football quarterback Colin Kaepernick's protest during the national anthem. As expected, the jerseys feature the number 45 and "Trump" in all caps on the back, because nothing says "I support the president's decisions" quite like paying $99 for a jersey that has no team associated with it.
Unless, of course, the Official Donald J. Trump Store considers America one big "team" — which might be the logic behind having an American flag on the sleeve and "Stand up for America" on the front — except that the jersey purposely excludes anyone who sides with Kaepernick or holds anti-isolationist views about the United States' foreign policy.
Fendi's $990 unintentionally anatomical scarf
There are a lot of decisions out there that make us shake our collective heads — like the man who took his therapy rat to a convenience store in Nashville (though admittedly it allowed pets), but at this point retailers should really know better than to create products so easily shamed.
For one thing, Fendi came out with a scarf that had chic fall intentions but got roasted on social media for looking more like an artsy representation of a female body part, Teen Vogue reported. While the offending color combination seems to have been removed, red and blue versions are still available, and despite the female anatomy snafu, they will still cost you $990.
Ummmmmmmm....You buying Fendi's $986 "Touch of Fur" scarf?!?! It resembles something but can't put my finger on it!?! pic.twitter.com/6N9fnBB92Q— Mastermind (@Mastermind) October 15, 2018
That wasn't the only questionable fashion choice out there in the past few weeks. H&M also partnered with Moschino (of luxury My Little Pony line and "dry cleaning bags can be fashionable" fame) for a collection that feels like four different people designed it. The line jumps from a puffy jacket and skirt combo to a disco-ball sequin getup and a surprising number of outfits with Disney characters.
You know what they say: You win some, you lose some — and others turn out looking like female body parts.
the h&m x Moschino collection is so ugly— ???????????????????? (@allyxyxz) October 16, 2018
Meanwhile, in Silicon Valley...
Whenever we feel bad about our life decisions, we like to take a look at all the tech products being released and that usually either makes us feel better or intensifies the crisis.
This week we're not sure what to feel. On one hand, Amazon patented a design for what is essentially a cooler that also has a section to keep food hot, and Gillette introduced a pilot that would let customers 3D print their own razor handles, both of which seem potentially useful but also largely unnecessary. But hey, that's also what we say about every Balenciaga product ever released and they somehow make money, so why not tech?
Alas, with every weird, potentially innovative tech product comes one weird, potentially dystopian one. And so we introduce "MobiLimb" — a phone extension that looks like an extra finger and can do creepy things like "stroking the user's hand or wrist when he or she receives a smiley emoji from a friend." Thanks, Axios, for that image.
In the same vein, we discovered a disturbing pair of what TechCrunch aptly called "horse blinders for humans" that block out employees' peripheral vision and also serve as noise-canceling headphones because god forbid anyone be forced to acknowledge their coworkers anymore.
Parece um pinto pic.twitter.com/LTlpdSexK3— Miss Money ???????? (@MickaelliDrew) October 5, 2018
Maybe instead of putting blinders meant for horses on people we should design better office spaces. https://t.co/3D6A9M7glc— Patrick Thornton (@pwthornton) October 18, 2018
How long until we see this power combo? pic.twitter.com/cSvuCGabq4— ???? Benjamin Bruning (@NCSUalum) October 17, 2018