It's been another weird week in retail. A website started selling swimsuits with Prince Harry's face on them, Gap had to destroy a T-shirt to keep its cool in China and Supreme is still managing to charge thousands of dollars for anything covered in its label.
This, and more, in this week's retail therapy.
The $40 swimsuit that's a royal disaster
They say being rich changes you, but what they don't say is that Meghan Markle becoming rich changes the lives of us peasants too. As the actress' royal marriage draws near, we're suddenly doing things we wouldn't normally do, like spend money on merchandise that has the faces of another couple on it. This bizarre phenomenon has simultaneously encouraged retailers to turn a generally feel-good event into an unfashionable travesty.
In the name of ruining all that is good in the world, e-commerce site Bags of Love started selling royal wedding-themed swimsuits with the face of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on them for $40, Metro reports. Despite being horrendous, the swimsuits are apparently "soft" and "durable," ensuring that buyers will at least be comfortable while sporting their dual-purpose British propaganda.
At this point, we'd do well to recall that these probably aren't the worst swimsuits we've seen, considering the Asos swimsuit that couldn't go in water, the MAGA swimsuits of 2017 and the swimsuit that featured the unfortunately prominent face of Guy Fieri.
Nor are the royal bathing suits likely to be the last of their kind. Teen Vogue is already reporting on one-piece suits featuring the cult favorite of sparkling water, LaCroix. Not only do customers love LaCroix enough to buy merchandise of it, they evidently love LaCroix enough to buy swimsuits in six different flavors, all for sale on Public Space.
Because what's the point of doing anything anymore if there's not a highly commoditized clothing item you can purchase along with it?
with a small donation of $1-2 you will help me achieve my goal of purchasing a la croix swimsuit venmo @ louisajanssen— lou ???? (@louisawren) May 17, 2018
if i see any of you in a la croix swimsuit this summer im decking you on site— lil pansexual baba (@hostilelinus) May 17, 2018
I just bought a La Croix swimsuit because I'm just that basic— Kevin (@AtlasVaped) May 17, 2018
if someone wants to buy me the men’s lacroix swimsuit bottoms in all the colors size XS i will either marry you or never talk to you ever again whichever appeals to you— mena ! (@mena_elise) May 17, 2018
Gap hits a great wall of dissent
When it comes to offending customers, retailers want to pick their battles wisely (in other words, not with China). And yet, Gap wound up on the wrong side of an argument over a T-shirt with an "incorrect" map on it.
As BBC reports, it wasn't that the offending shirts didn't include China, but rather that they did not include enough of China. While the whole mainland was displayed, territories that China lays claim to, including Taiwan and Tibet, were excluded, raising an unnecessary amount of alarm for a retailer that has bigger issues than a poorly thought-out T-shirt.
American clothing retailer @Gap on Monday apologized for printing incomplete Chinese map on T-shirts for sales outside #China, said the brand respects China's sovereignty and territorial integrity pic.twitter.com/uHJoLnpmr6— People's Daily,China (@PDChina) May 14, 2018
china is actually salty for gap selling shirts with their map and not including taiwan lmfao— yunlin (@yunlinR) May 15, 2018
Nevertheless, the company issued an apology for the shirts, pulled them from racks in China and summarily destroyed them. All things considered, it could have been worse. The company could have, say, stolen designs from a Mexican artist and then used those designs to try and sell more T-shirts.
Per Business Insider, mass merchant Target got slammed on Twitter for stealing the art of a gay Mexican artist. While the retailer responded to the complaint by saying it had removed the product from the company website, artist Felix d'Eon called the apology out for being "hollow" and insisted Target would continue profiting off of his work unless the company removed the T-shirt from stores as well.
It feels like only yesterday that Kanye West was stealing designs from Nike...
Target stole a design of mine and printed it on a tshirt. Is this how you support the queer Latinx community, @Target , by stealing the art of a gay Mexican artist? I'm curious to hear what you have to say! pic.twitter.com/O4ItN6enEp— Felix d'Eon (@FelixdEon) May 16, 2018
Your apology rings hollow so long as the tshirt is available in your brick and mortar stores; you are still profiting off my work, and appropriating from the queer, Latinx community.— Felix d'Eon (@FelixdEon) May 16, 2018
Supreme rules everything around me
It wouldn't be retail therapy if there wasn't an overpriced product to talk about, and Supreme was generous enough to supply 145 of them.
According to Bloomberg, the streetwear company, perhaps most famous for literally selling a $30 brick with its name on it, made over $1 million from items at an auction appropriately named "C.R.E.A.M" (Cash Rules Everything Around Me). Now, in the grand scheme of things, $1 million might not be that much, but — mind you — for 145 items that amounts to an average price tag of almost $7,000.
This teaches us two things: Firstly, that Supreme is still cool (at least in the eyes of the buyers), and secondly, that not every bad product can be sold for thousands of dollars, because "bum rip" jeans are out there and they're only selling for $38.
Artcurial sold some rare Supreme items at auction for pic.twitter.com/BmW9REOkf3— Supreme DROPS (@dropssupreme) May 17, 2018
Alright this is way too much lol. A Supreme auction? Who are the people attending a Supreme auction???— Mark Ason (@mark_ason) May 17, 2018