I’ve made a lot of predictions about where fashion is headed on this blog. One of the big ones involves an imminent backlash against capitalism that will mirror the Grunge era of the early nineties — a time when several planets formed a stellium in Capricorn similar to what is happening today. I’ve also admitted that I would have seen this generational trend coming whether or not I looked to the stars.
One of the signs of the upcoming shift in spending is evident in the ridiculousness of the recent Berluti campaigns. I haven’t seen anything so out-of-touch with reality since the Versace campaigns of the mid nineties. I know that people romanticize Gianni Versace, but when his business started to falter, it became sort of a joke. The reason Nomi Malone visited the “Versayce” store in “Showgirls” was because that was where the tacky people thought the rich people shopped. Meanwhile, if the cool people were buying designer clothes at all, they were shopping at Jil Sander and Helmut Lang.
Now I like what Berluti is doing, even though I can see its irrelevance in the current fashion climate. What I don’t like is seeing an eighteen-year-old model with a pair of two-thousand dollar shoes that we all know he would never buy. I can understand how a brand like Berluti might choose to rebrand themselves this way while the economy is flying high, but why do they continue to make the label seem like something all the kids are crazy for? Most kids don’t have jobs right now, and that probably won’t change anytime soon. The retail business has collapsed. The sector of the economy that both sells kids clothes and provides them with the jobs so that they can buy clothes is just a shadow of what it was before the pandemic began.
Morever, the idea of flaunting your wealth in a depression is vulgar and quite foolish, just like the idea of Nomi Malone aspiring to wear Versace was foolish in a time when she could have been trying to channel Alanis Morrisette, Salt-N-Pepa, or any other genuine icon of mid-nineties style.
Anyway, I predict that numbers for Berluti will continue to be terrible, and I also predict that this current rebranding strategy will be thrown in the garbage any day now. This is not the direction in which fashion is headed. I can’t imagine being more out of touch with the universe than the people who came up with this campaign. It’s worse than “Showgirls” because at least the people who made “Showgirls” knew what they were doing was wrong. You can’t be “in on the joke” when you just don’t get it.