It's been another weird week in retail. Target will soon debut a cheese advent calendar for those who love brie more than chocolate, knockoff Halloween costumes are rising from the dead and Balenciaga is being sued by the Car Freshner Corporation for copying its pine tree design (and charging $275 for it).
This, and more, in this week's retail therapy.
On the 12th day of Christmas, Target gave me cheese
Cheese lovers, rejoice — Christmas just came early and it's all thanks to your friendly neighborhood Target because unlike that judgmental kid from seventh grade, Target understands that we all like a round of cheese better than a piece of chocolate.
According to So Wrong It's Nom, the Cheese Advent Calendar will be coming to 247 Target stores in the U.S. this year because yes, all it takes is a round of cheese to stop any day from growing mold. It does cost $20 for 24 individually-wrapped cheeses, but imagine actually looking forward to eating your advent calendar snack instead of staring blankly at a piece of milk chocolate that is destined to be mediocre at best.
"Advent calendars are for kids," some unknowing adult with no respect for gourmet food mutters. To this naysayer we have one response: Does Jarlsberg sound like a cheese your child would eat, or better yet, appreciate? Buyers of the Cheese Advent Calendar get to taste cheeses described as "a real English treasure," "a splash of color" and one that even has "earthy tangy notes."
Why are we all still focusing on cranberry sauce and eggnog when we could be eating cheese and crackers instead?
There's an advent calendar of nothing but cheese. I would legit eat 25 days of cheese in one day.— Lewie Homan (@landoflewie) October 19, 2018
free idea if you want to steal it: this year i am treating myself to a $20 cheese advent calendar and $30 jam advent calendar so december can be the Month of Breakfast Dreams pic.twitter.com/RuqKaLaJ8t— emma lord (@dilemmalord) October 19, 2018
Halloween brings all the knock-offs to the (grave)yard
We all like to find the cheap way out. You don't want to pay for dinner so you heat up leftovers. Or, you don't want to get called out for wearing an overused costume like Beetlejuice for Halloween so you go as "Juice Demon."
Entertainment Weekly's Dana Schwartz pointed out the proliferation of Halloween costumes trying desperately to avoid copyright infringement with a tweet about a Clueless costume called, aptly, "Notionless." But the problem goes way deeper than that, as evidenced by the myriad replies pointing to equally-objectionable titles like the Twilight-inspired "Night Time Romeo" or — a personal favorite — "Hermany Grinder: The Top Student at Chogborts."
The appeal for these costumes is obvious. Spend less money, get roughly the same costume and suffer the consequences of an embarrassed 11-year-old who has to explain to her friends why her Hermione Granger costume doesn't have quite the right Hogwarts crest on it. Not to mention that her brother isn't Where's Waldo he's "Where's the Stripey Dude?"
Yes, that's Stripey Dude as a proper noun. But hey, at least buying a knockoff costume means there's probably little chance of anyone paying $60 for an "influencer" costume that only includes leggings and a sports bra.
Show me your favorite knock-off Halloween costume. Right now, I'm team "Notionless" because the designer wanted to get to lunch and hit the thesaurus pic.twitter.com/Dm7omvckuz— No Dana, only Zuul Schwartz (@DanaSchwartzzz) October 22, 2018
The Top Student at Chogborts: a classic pic.twitter.com/xvd74okmnm— Dumbledoria (@the_doria) October 22, 2018
But don't forget his daughter! pic.twitter.com/qdjaXmSJHH— Allie D. (@missAllieD) October 23, 2018
I mean the laziness... pic.twitter.com/WdqRCqPy7H— ????Boo-ving???? Sober, Again. (@cubfansince76) October 22, 2018
Balenciaga cuts down the wrong pine-scented tree
In the spirit of the holidays, Balenciaga copied the design of those pine tree air fresheners that have become synonymous with yellow taxi cabs in New York, started charging $275 for them and was promptly sued by said company.
While it might not seem like an air freshener in the shape of a pine tree is something to fight over, the Car-Freshner Corporation claims that these little scent-filled trees are "staples of American culture, familiar to millions of consumers who encounter these products and marks in a wide variety of commercial contexts," according to the Fashion Law.
It's not really like Balenciaga is trying to conceal that it's blatantly ripping off the design, either. The description for the product calls it a "tree leather key holder" and the blue version on Matches Fashion describes in straightforward terms that the item is "designed to resemble an air freshener" and contrary to this being copyright infringement, it is in fact "an example of creative director Demna Gvasalia's penchant for elevating everyday objects."
That was Tiffany's argument with its Everyday Objects line as well and frankly, we still don't think "elevating" is the same thing as "adding some zeros to the end of the price tag."
It's fun to imagine a group of high-paid attorneys having a serious debate about the legal exposure of keychain vs air freshener pointiness.— Dave Mongan???? (@dmongan) October 22, 2018
"Well, Bill, after looking at this morning fresh, I think they've got us dead to rights." https://t.co/R8W2G98XYU
Didn't they learn anything from the Ikea bag disaster?— Hanna Trudo (@HCTrudo) October 24, 2018
Smoking weed has never been more gendered
Nevertheless, some companies just feel left out if they're not joining in the movement to create products that nobody asked for and nobody needed. Enter: Blissiva, a line of marijuana products made specifically for women because apparently a lot changes if you're a woman using marijuana than if you're a man?
The main product is the Blissiva Balance Pen, which appears to be trying to appeal to women by, 1. Being purple, and 2. Being flavored with cute names like "Vanilla Chilla" and "Cool as a Cucumber." Not that there's anything wrong with shopping for Cannabis products based on the name or color of the item, it just seems a little… unnecessary.
Why is an appealing design and a cute name synonymous with "this product is for women"?
Too much pandering in this branding: "Blissiva functions as a glass of wine, but minus the calories." Are we back to the Bic lady-pens? https://t.co/J9PWRksLkF— Natalie Koltun (@natalie_koltun) October 22, 2018